Shutter Island Movie Review
SHUTTER ISLAND: CHILLING
Shutter Island is the fourth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Set in 1954 at a mental patient facility that harbors the most dangerous of criminals, U.S. Marshalls are sent to investigate the disappearance of one of the female patients. The story continuously throws curves, which starts to wear thin toward the end. But the cast is phenomenal, especially DiCaprio as Marshall Teddy Daniels. The island is sinister, even when some of the elements such as the music aren't extraordinary. And it can be exhausting. But it is still compelling, making it a solid film.
Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is on his way to Shutter Island with his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo). It's 1954 and they are investigating the disappearance of one of Shutter Island's patients. Shutter Island houses mental patients who are criminally insane. Rachel Solano (Emily Mortimer) went missing the night before. The staff has been searching for her but have been unable to find any clues. They do know she can't get off the island due to the coldness of the water and distance from land. Teddy and Chuck have trouble getting help from Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and the rest of the staff. In addition to the lack of help, Teddy has flashbacks to when he was fighting overseas during WWII. And he keeps seeing his deceased wife (Michelle Williams) who died in a fire. He starts to doubt what is real and what isn't.
The gripping story feels like a workout because it is tiring to watch. With all the twists and turns, it remains a mystery to the very end. The cast is a no brainer. Leonardo DiCaprio embodies every role he does. He has obviously found a mentor in Scorsese. His Teddy walks a fine line between losing himself to his past and just trying to solve the case of this missing woman. Remaining calm throughout is a constant battle that he goes through. This is seen through his physical ailments such as flinching at bright lights, sweating, and his emotional outbursts at everyone around him. Ben Kingsley is amused and patronizing as Shutter Island's doctor. Michelle Williams as Teddy's dead wife is doe-eyed and creepy. She proves to be not trustworthy right from the beginning. And the island is a character in itself. Its surrounding foreboding waters, sterile cold wards that house the patients, and menacing cliffs make you shiver with cold. The landmark lighthouse becomes one of the villains.
The cat and mouse game the story plays wears its welcome out towards the end.
Scorsese and DiCaprio come together for a fourth time with this thriller. They demonstrate they can still make a persuasive film with a dark story and powerful acting. And even when the plot starts to become tiring, it still holds onto your senses.