Sometimes a scene in a film doesn’t need any dialogue to be able to convey emotion and character development the story requires. One such film that does a great job of using wordless sequences to let the audience in on the characters motivations and agendas is Steve McQueen’s Shame.
I could’ve picked from so many different scenes this film had to offer. Yet, it was the wordless scene of flirting, attraction and seduction between Michael Fassbender’s Brandon and an unnamed woman sitting across from him in the subway car. With Harry Escott’s score setting up the scene, McQueen allows the two players (Brandon and the unnamed woman) to use furtive glances and flirtatious looks to convey the attraction between these two beautiful individuals.
Even how the woman’s seemingly brief acceptance of what Brandon’s unspoken invitation suddenly turned into something of regret spoke volume in the scene. While Brandon’s sexual addiction has made him a sort of junkie looking to find his next fix wherever he can find it, the woman realizes in the end that maybe, maybe Brandon’s invitation is something she shouldn’t accept on a whim.
It’s later in the film that we find out the woman is now engage (or has been) and the tables has been turned with her now more confident in what she wants and Brandon now the one hesitating.
I know that many people probably have other scenes from Shame they would consider their favorite, but this one definitely is mine.