“Take Shelter” was a movie that I was really looking forward to watching, it had won the 50th Critics’ Week Grand Prix at the Canns Film Festival as well as a few other cinematic awards. So when I finally found a cinema that was showing it I was expecting something great. What I ended up with was a film that was a bit like looking over Dartmoor, in other words it was rather bleak and sadly kind of dull.
Acting wise this movie was nothing special, its the typical good performances that you get with films of this caliber. However no performance really stood out apart from maybe Tova Stewart who plays the daughter of the Curtis LaForche, the main character of the movie played by Michael Shannon. Now this may sound controversial as Michael Shannon has been nominated for many acting awards as well as winning many awards for his performance in this movie. However apart from his characters amazing rant ( after a fight with his ex best friend and work colleague) that was like a bolt of electricity being zapped into the cinematic audience, the rest of his performance was well standard , its not bad but at the same time not that amazing brilliant either. In fact having met Michael Shannon at last years BFI Film Festival I could not see much difference between his performance on the red carpet and his performance on screen.
The plot is interesting showing how Curtis deals with what is seen as a mental health problem, and the extreme and obsessive effort he goes to create the protective shelter for his family. This behavior is spurred on by distressing and horrific dreams that seem to peculate into his waking life. I do like how this film deals with the problems of mental health showing the initial embarrassment it can have on someone trying to hide it from his family and friends. With the growing obsession as he falls ever deeper into delusion. The mental health aspect of the movie is dealt with extremely well and it was very interesting to see how his family eventually dealt with his behavior. One scene that particularly stood out for me was when Curtis goes back to see his councilor. He finds out she has been replaced by a guy who wants to restart him to the start of the counseling process, seeing this Curtis gets up and leaves fed up with having to go back to square one. I could really feel sympathy for Curtis as the counseling system failed him.
As for the apocalyptic aspect of the movie it was interesting the concept that a horrendous black storm, which would rain down down muddy rain which would cause people to go insane was an interesting one. However I could have done with seeing a bit more of these apocalyptic scenes, as those scenes where quite atmospheric.
The end of the movie really did bug me a lot, it seemed to be going well and was going for a emotional ending. However it then went a bit daft at the end which kind of spoilt the movie for me. It would have been far stronger if it followed on and continued with the mental health theme.
At the start of this review I did say this movie bleak and dull, now their is nothing wrong with being bleak and austere. But this movie was dull it just went on that little bit too long, it would have been far better if the movie was tighter as it would have been a lot more punchier.
The movie is worth seeing, particularly as it might give people some incite into mental health issues. Although don’t go expecting to see the best movie of last as that is not what you will find.