Take Shelter

What Jesse said:

Check out “Take Shelter“. Intense performances. The main character`s paranoia/fragile mental state really comes across. Great little film. Enjoy.

Mike’s verdict:

I mostly agree with Jesse – there are some very intense performances in Take Shelter. Unfortunately, I found the best parts rather spaced out with dull sections that just took too long. I’m sure the intention was to build intensity slowly, but in this case the slow pace lost momentum and had to start building all over again. If I feel the urge to see how much of a movie is left, I take it as a flag that things aren’t moving fast enough. I not only felt that urge with Take Shelter, but I actually checked three times – and there was still 40 minutes left at the point when I checked for the third time. I never found myself wanting to stop watching though, I just wanted the plot to move on.

One thing I really liked was that the characters mostly reacted realistically. Movies involving mental illness frequently rely on the ‘rational’ characters greatly over-reacting (or just over acting) as a means to advance the plot, but this movie managed to avoid that. I also really liked that Michael Shannon was able to portray an unraveling mind without letting that mind lose a sense of conscience. The tension between reality and delusion is all-encompassing, and you can see it pulling the character in all directions at once.

The only thing that really bothers me about this film is the last 30 seconds or so. The ending is a cop-out. Given the kind of audience that looks for this type of independent film, I don’t think it was necessary (or even warranted) to give it a Hollywood ending. Still, that is only the last 30 seconds.

Overall, Take Shelter is a decent movie that will keep you watching until the end – even if it does get a little slow at times.

7/10 (But let me redo the last 30 seconds and it could have an 8 instead.)



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