Set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) is investigating the disappearance of a murderess that has escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island. As he questions the hospitals psychologists (Von Sydow and Kingsley) his fears of a major conspiracy take flight. As he continues on, the more his investigation uncovers, the more he realizes that everything is not as it would seem.
Now this is one of those films where subtle plot twists and visual hints give way to larger twists that will change the whole direction and feel of a movie. So it goes without saying that I really do not want to give anything major away in the general plot and direction of the film. Instead let’s look at some of the components that pulled this film together. As we have come to expect there are stunning performances from such great actors as Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow and Jackie Earle Haley. However the thing that pleased me was that the very up and down Leonardo puts in a brilliant lead performance that keeps you guessing all the way just how on the level he really is and exactly who it is that might be out to get him.
Backed up of course by some wonderful work by Michelle Williams who plays his dead wife, as she visit’s him in his dreams and hallucinations. As she haunts his very mind, he is driven on to darker depths throughout Shutter Island.
Now for some people the plot twists may very well be easy to spot, for others it may hit you towards the end like a light bulb suddenly turning on in the middle of the night. Over all I think this is one of the first times in a long while that we have really seen Scorsese bring back the honest thrill and chase to the thriller genre since his 1991 intensely captivating “Cape Fear”. We all remember just how menacing Robert deNiro was in that film. There are some great reminiscent moments in Shutter Island that draw you back to maybe even get out Cape Fear from the Video store.
I really enjoyed the style of filming that Scorsese has used within this film to float between the moments of so called reality and that of Daniel’s dreams and hallucinations, but I will point out that some of the violence and flashbacks are somewhat intense with one particular could quite possibly start the tears flowing.
Although a little predictable in places and not as original as it could have been if it had of been made 20 years ago, Shutter Island is still a satisfying thriller if only a fraction too long.
Reviewed by: Jon E Clist
Releases: 18th February 2010
Rating: R16 Violence, Offensive Language & Content That May Disturb
Duration: 139 minutes
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow & Michelle Williams
Director: Martin Scorsese