"Shutter Island" (2010)

Rating: R:15
Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Written By: Laeta Kalogridis, Dennis Lehane
Released: February 19th, 2010  Wide
Runtime: 138 minutes
Studio: Paramount Studios

Based on the book by Dennis Lehane of the same name, and set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is called upon to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients at Shutter Island’s hospital for the criminally insane, who has escaped and is presumed to be hiding near-by. However, as time goes by Teddy wonders if he is in fact being lead on a wild goose chase.

I love this film. It has a brilliantly constructed plot that will keep you guessing, with a surprising and intelligent twist. 

It’s Leonardo DiCaprio’s fourth film with Martin Scorsese. Neither disappoints!  Mark Ruffalo is also very good as Teddy’s partner, Chuck. Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley and Max Von Sydow are also among the cast. I got a surprise when I realised Max Von Sydow was in it, I didn’t recognise him! It’s definitely one of my favourite Leonardo DiCaprio movies. He’s brilliant in his role. Teddy’s character is very complex…which I imagine was the appeal because a lot of his characters seem to be very complex! The ending too, is very ambiguous, therefore allowing audiences to take it in their own way…which may even lead them to view the film another time round with a different perspective. – Which makes it better again!

I think this was my first “horror/thriller” as such, so the first time I watched it was quite an experience! I remember watching it in the dark. In my room there is a high window just above my laptop desk upon which my cat had decided to sleep unbeknownst to me. So during one of the ‘scarier’ scenes, at the exact moment there was a huge scream, that’s when the cat decided to jump down on top of me. I was so engrossed in the film, I got more of a fright than I probably should have…I screamed so loud it frightened her too…poor cat!

I love the dream sequences. The editing in them is very effective and consistent with real life dream-sensations. I suppose this is most evident in the first dream sequence with his wife. She’s standing in front of this window holding a bottle accusingly. I like the transitions between the shots as they’re sort of detached from their predecessors, slightly abrupt. The music in this scene is good too actually.

My favourite dream sequence though is probably when he’s standing outside this train carriage with all these bodies falling out of it, covered in cobwebs. The music is very effective! We’re given a shot of a particular woman and her daughter, then a shot looking upwards at Teddy, then of the woman and her daughter again, this time no cobwebs, clearer, then back to Teddy, then back to these people and suddenly the little girl’s eyes open and she starts to get up. I admit I got a fright the first time I watched this scene…so I’d barely recovered from that only to then have the cat jump on top of me minutes later…But it’s creepy! I haven’t actually read the book but I’d like to just to see how they were written…

The story as a whole, I think, is cleverly written. The clues are being dropped the whole way through, e.g. in his dreams, so once you then know the twist at the end, it’s very satisfying to watch it back and see where! I know some people who did guess the end before it came (I don’t know how they did) but it came as a surprise for me so it made the film even better.

I love this film. Definitely worth a watch! It’s very, very good.