Sep 11, 2011

HUNGER [2008]

Director: Steve McQueen
Writers: Enda Walsh, Steve McQueen
Stars:  Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham, Laine Megaw and Brian Milligan

„I have my belief. And in all its simplicity that is the most powerful thing”  Bobby Sands

This tragic movie is just the story of a man willing to die for his beliefs, unable to determine the right or right thing to do because of the hate, oppression and conditions he was put through the years.

Michael Fassbender, as the political prisoner who decides to go on a hunger strike, portrays the character in such a way that it conveys all of the emotions and sorrow and despair of a true victim of this kind of situation. It was so real and moving, that it took the already amazing direction, cinematography and sound to the next level. He gave one of the best performances.

But the real star of the movie, for me anyway, was Steve McQueen- his directing style is so good, original and I love the fact that he knows how to emphasize every important aspect of the story in a subtle, yet moving way. Every shot and angle had a meaning, every little detail had its purpose; to give an example, I loved the scene where one of the prisoners receives a new cell- you can see his fear, feel it in his breathing.

Another aspect I liked, although it is unusual and not suitable for every movie, was the fact that it had no music, or very little- here, it brings out the story much better, the tragedy and the importance of it.
Hunger also delivered two, actually three, of the most disturbing scenes I have ever seen: the check up for hidden objects, the shooting scene(just for the surprise element) and the starving process of Bobby Sands (Fassbender had to loose a lot of weight for it and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been mentally to portrays this state of mind)- I won’t go into details, but trust me when I say it was shocking.

One more thing I would like to talk about- dialogue. This movie, as unusual as it is, in many ways, doesn’t really have dialogue, with the exception of one scene. A priest comes into the prison, trying to change Bobby’s minds about the hunger strike. And from that point you have 20 minutes of one the best dialogue scenes I have seen- one angle, two actors, with no cutting- brilliant. The angle shot changes after 20 minutes and you can really see, for the first time, Bobby Sands, with his fears, his beliefs, his passion.

All in all, it is a great movie and I highly recommend it. But you have to be in the mood for it- it’s not an easy one, but it’s worth it!


  1. I thought this film was fantastic. The second film I saw Fassbender in (after Inglourious Basterds). That 17 minute unbroken shot where he is talking to the priest is just amazing. I'm looking forward to McQueen's new film, SHAME, which has been getting some positive responses at Venice. This was raw, uncompromising entertainment, and made Fassbender and McQueen two to watch.

    As for getting started, it took me longer than I expected. I started writing in March 2010, and I just transferred a few reviews I had completed prior to the blog - they weren't good, and I had very few readers (and views) for most of the year. I also didn't post much. Since December, though, once I joined The LAMB and started contributing for Anomalous Material, I have picked it up.

    It takes some motivation, and overcoming some frustration. If you can, I would recommend posting regularly (at least 20 times a month). The more you write, the more practice you will get and you will find that people stop by again to read.

    Visit and comment on a bunch of other sites. From mine, you will find 60-70 on my blogroll. They are great places to start, and from there you will find even more. I can see that you already follow a few.

    Join The LAMB (Large Association of Movie Blogs) and leave some comments at Anomalous Material. There is a massive network there, and should get you some more hits. Photos also draw lots of hits - people are image searching and stumble across your page.

    Hope that helps. Feel free to email me for any more info or thoughts.


  2. Thanks so much for the tips and tricks!

    I can't wait to see Shame- i will in October at London Fest! Hope to talk to you soon! Have a nice day!

  3. The first time I saw this flick, it was 3 in the morning and I was coming off a wicked bout of drinking. Despite not being in the best state of mind, I sat in awe, unmoved, for its duration.

    Watching Hunger is like going five rounds with a raging bull. Seriously gut wrenching stuff. Nice review.

  4. Hey Alex, first of all, thanks for stoping by!

    Second of all, why would you watch Hunger at 3 am after drinking? :) I couldn't even concentrate at that hour, so kudos for you for watching that movie! It wasn't easy in a normal Tuesday afternoon for me, so I bet you it was pretty hard for you, too!

    Five rounds with a raging bull? Aa....which reminds me...I have to watch Raging bull! Another film added to the list! :)