Indie Gems: Hunger

What extreme are you willing to go to get your point across?

Hunger follows the lives of prisoners in Northern Ireland in the 1981. Specifically around the IRA Hunger Strike. The main focus is on Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) who goes through the hunger strike. Though we start the film with a guard played by Stuart Graham and another prisoner, Davey (Brian Milligan) before we get to Bobby himself.

After seeing both Shame and 12 Years a Slave, I knew I had to check out director Steve McQueen's first feature film. His honest style is still there. He never shies away from showing us something graphic if it's necessary to see. Admittedly, I don't know a lot about the IRA hunger strike. So even though this film is very bleak, I found it to be very interesting.

Saying that Fassbender is great almost feels repetitive at this point because I don't think I've ever seen him give a bad performance. He works well with McQueen and it's easy to see why they did it two more times after this.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I don't think I can see you again, Bobby.) - Father Moran (Liam Cunningham)

9 comments:

  1. I gave this a B as well. I found aspects of this so well done, and yet there were moments when my attention floundered.

    Also, am I the only one who questions whether Fassbender is kind of supporting, since he's only a noticeable force in like the second half of the film...?

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    1. I'd call him supporting too since it takes him forever to show up. But he's the most well known, so I suppose he's lead by default.

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  2. This was so difficult to sit through. I don't think I saw many performances portraying agony more accurately than Fassbender did here, if any

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    1. Oh for sure. The last half of this film is just brutal.

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  3. McQueen has a knack for portraying characters going through both psychological and physical pain. To think that this was his debut. McQueen's shots in this film very much call attention to the fact that he was an artist before taking up filmmaking.

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    1. He shoots beautifully. And you're right, he's very good at showing that side of his characters.

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  4. I loved this movie. One of the things I appreciated about it was that we got a glimpse of the guards' lives as well as the experiences of the prisoners. I was also amazed at how the film left so much unsaid in such a brilliant way. And that dialogue between Fassbender's character and the priest is unforgettable.

    Great review!

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  5. This movie feels a bit scattered, but I love it still. And Fassbender can, indeed, do no wrong.

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    1. I was surprised that he isn't even introduced until about the halfway point. I wasn't expecting that at all.

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