Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest directors of our time. His films such as Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Departed are some of the finest films ever, and have the Oscar statuettes to prove it. With Shutter Island Scorsese proves that he can make a highly suspenseful and extremely intriguing movie.
When I first arrived at the theater, I had heard that Shutter Island was a well crafted psychological thriller (which it is), but I had no idea what a wild ride I was in for. The movie begins as Federal Marshals Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffolo) arrive on the mysterious Shutter Island. The island is home to a mental hospital for the criminally insane. The Marshals have been called to the institution because a female inmate and previous child murderer, Rachel Solando, has escaped. As the Marshals begin to interview the staff and inmates on the island, they realize that all is not as it seems. Throw in the hurricane force storm that descends on the island and the shady Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), head of the institute, you have the recipe for an amazing and captivating film.
The story focuses a lot around the mind of Teddy Daniels, why he is on
the island and how he is slowly starting to lose his mind. The idea of
this story is a neo-Gothic setting set in 1954 with an almost Edgar
Allen Poe feel to the setting. Due to the time in which the movie is
set, many characters show signs of post-traumatic stress due to World
War 2. Teddy is haunted with flashbacks to the horror he faced not
only in Europe, but also back home in the past decade.
congratulate his entire crew. The direction is brilliant, the lighting
and motion effects are great, but one of the best features of the
movie is the music. The score by Robbie Robertson is perfect. In
scenes of suspense, for example when Teddy walks through an old civil war fort, the pounding beat of the music could not be better for the scene. Also, when mounting up to a climatic point, the music fades and lets the scene unveil itself.
However, the crew should not get all of the credit here. DiCaprio is
one of my favorite actors, and pairing up with Scorsese once again he
shows his true ability to act, and come the next Academy Awards, he
could be looking at another nomination. Ben Kingsley is also incredible in
Shutter Island. This is one of his most memorable performances since Gandhi as he plays the role with the perfect amount of intelligence, cunning and
mystery. The supporting cast of actors such as Mark Ruffalo are good
and I think he was a good choice for the role. However, the best
suppporting roles come from the inmates of the institution. A woman
who axes her husband and a mysterious man in Ward C are some of the
brilliantly scary characters of the island.
Shutter Island is a just a very well done movie. Everything fits
together so perfectly that the movie as a whole is better than the sum
of it's parts. However, when the 'parts' include Leonardo DiCaprio and
Martin Scorsese, the film must be truly brilliant. I highly recommend
Shutter Island. I also would like to make sure people know going in that this is not a horror movie, it may be suspenseful and scary to some, but it is a genuine psychological thriller. The genre of psychological thriller movies is a difficult genre to achieve greatness in, only the best film makers can make a successful thriller like this, such as Stanley Kubrik, Alfred Hitchcock and now Martin Scorsese. Shutter Island keeps you guessing, and unfolds brilliantly before the audience.