TAKE SHELTER Movie Review – A Storm’s Coming!
If you enjoy psychological dramas in which you’re not sure if what the character is seeing is true or not, you’re going to love TAKE SHELTER.
The movie follows Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) who works as the crew chief for a sand company. His wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) is a stay-at-home mother who takes care of their six–year-old deaf daughter Hannah and supplements their income by selling handmade wares at the flea market each weekend. Even though money is tight, especially with Hannah’s medical expenses and special needs, they live a very happy life together, that is until Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm.
At first Curtis tries to keep these dreams for himself, but as they become more and more disturbing, he decides to build a storm shelter in their backyard. Soon his behavior becomes quite obsessive, which leads to his co-workers, friends and neighbors staying away from him and his wife Samantha questioning his sanity. Soon even Curtis starts wondering if he should protect his family from the storm in his dreams or from himself…
Take Shelter is really slow paced, yet not boring at all because of the underlying tension that transpires throughout the film. There is a really great balance of the audience wondering if Curtis is crazy or if these dreams really a premonition of what’s to come. But I think what I really loved about it is that you see everything unfold from Curtis’ point of view and whether or not he’s right, you understand his motivation. You soon realize that if you were having the same nightmares he has and there was even a remote chance they would come true, you’d probably act the same he does, even if everyone else thought you were crazy.
Take Shelter is a really interesting portrayal of the thin line between madness and sanity. And it will make you think days after you’re done watching it. Even weeks after watching it, I still sometimes think of how good it is and I keep running the ending in my head over and over again. It’s pretty great!
But the story is one thing, because Take Shelter wouldn’t be what it is without the fantastic performances from its cast. It’s of course no surprise how brilliant Michael Shannon is (especially if you’ve seen his other performances), but he really does shine in this one. There is a quiet intensity and vulnerability to the character as he is trying to figure out what is happening to him, that he captures perfectly. And I also want to mention Jessica Chastain, whom you have probably been seeing a lot of lately in films such as The Help and The Debt. She is wonderful and in Take Shelter she once again shines as the loving wife who struggles to understand what is happening to her husband.
The family these two have created in the film feels so true it’s like you are taking a peek at a tragic moment in their life and I think that’s why the movie stay with you for so long after.
I thought Take Shelter was wonderful. I absolutely love films that make you think and generate an emotional reaction out of you and Take Shelter does exactly that.
Take Shelter opens today, September 30th in theaters in New York and Los Angeles, so I urge you to go see it if it’s playing near you.
In the meantime, you can watch the trailer below.