The first-time director's unflinching camera, deliberate pacing and maddeningly long takes just amplify the story's innate harshness and test audience endurance levels.
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The brutality in the film is pervasive and often stomach turningly graphic, but what is perhaps most unnerving is the tact, patience and care with which Mr. McQueen depicts its causes and effects.
The fulcrum of this deeply humanist work is an extended two-shot of the strike's leader, Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender), as he converses with a priest (Liam Cunningham); the virtuosic sequence encapsulates the whole sorry history of a horrific civil war.
The movie is a political remake of "The Passion of the Christ," only more aestheticized: It's rigorous, evocative, and, in spite of its grisly imagery, elegant. It's a triumph--of masochistic literal-mindedness.
A superbly balanced piece of work, addressing the passion of Irish Republican martyr Bobby Sands.
An emotionally devastating drama that isn't for the squeamish.
Hunger may be criticized for being willfully arty, or for reducing a complex political situation to a broadly allegorical vision of martyrdom, but it's never less than visually stunning.
Trite, grim and feebly provocative.