Shutter Island

by - February 20, 2010 - - Comment Now »

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Nowadays it seems like all thrillers need to have a big twist. “Shutter Island” follows that formula but only on the surface. It differs from the typical fare in how the plot device is executed. I’m not sure Martin Scorsese ever intended to fool the audience. I think he intended to take the viewer on a suspenseful and psychological journey. He succeeded.

“Shutter Island” is very stylistically done. Everything from the visuals to the score (minimalistic and eerie) is engaging. Plus, the film is filled with numerous images that seem superfluous at first glance but are actually key to the story’s resolution. I had a good idea about what was happening yet I was constantly questioning how it was going to get there and if I was even correct about where there was. And after things are resolved, some questions remain. I left the theater thinking.

The movie was also chockfull of tremendous performances. Ben Kingsley was great as the island’s chief therapist, Mark Ruffalo was understated and effective as Leonardo Dicaprio’s partner and people like Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach) and Emily Mortimer shined in bit parts.

Then there was Dicaprio himself. That dude is the best actor in the world and he proved it again here. He gives a throughly engaging performance that really holds the movie together. (Dude, that rug really tied the room together). Buying into his character is essential to enjoying the film. With a lesser actor in the role, it likely degenerates into a crapfest. As is, it’s pretty damn good.

“Shutter Island” is a cool place. I might even go back there.

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