After being delayed from October 2nd of last year, Martin Scorsese's latest film, Shutter Island which is based on the book by Dennis Lehane, has finally been released. Many times, pushing a movie back from its original release date is a bad sign, but in the case of Shutter Island, that doesn't turn out to be the case.
Teddy Daniels is a Federal Marshall whom has been sent, along with a new partner from Seattle Chuck, to investigate a mysterious disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando from the mental rehabilitation clinic on Shutter Island. Run by Dr. Cawley, Shutter Island focuses on the rehabilitation on the worst and most violent of patients that other hospitals cannont manage. While investigating the disappearance, Teddy discovers that all is not as it seems on Shutter Island.
I never read the book, and I am glad I never did. I went into this film blind to the story, and it enhanced the experience for me. I am also not going to go too in depth on the story. Shutter Island should be enjoyed like all great Hitchcock films should be: just sit down and let the story unfold before your eyes. If you do that, you won't be disappointed. The story is very cleverly written and works on every level.
Martin Scorsese is easily one of Hollywood's best directors, and Shutter Island shows this. Scorsese meshes Hitcockian suspense with Kubrick's cerebrally interesting visuals. In doing so, Scorsese manages to get into your head early and he never lets go until the credits roll. The stark transitions, ominous score, and the way scenes are shot make this film really uncomfortable to watch, and that is its goal. While a film like Avatar will get a lot of notice for its visual appeal on the eyes, I think Shutter Island deserves a lot of praise for its appeal on your mind.
I know some people are going to hate on Scorsese for picking DiCaprio for his film again. However, why is this a problem? Scorsese knows what he wants, and he knows Leo can deliver it to him much like Burton knows Johnny Depp will give him what he wants. If the collaboration isn't broke, don't fix it! Under Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio has gone from the pretty boy in Titanic to one of the best actors in the industry. Shutter Island depends heavily on Leo's performance, and Leonardo DiCaprio goes above and beyond what the film required. He is phenomenal in the role of Teddy Daniels, and it is not an easy role. DiCaprio has to showcase a wide variety of things in this film.
While DiCaprio should get his due credit, let's not forget the supporting cast! Mark Ruffalo is awesome as Chuck and has great chemistry with DiCaprio. Ben Kingsley and Max Von Sydow both make you uneasy everytime they are on screen. Michelle Williams is haunting in her role. Fans of Watchmen will also love the appearance by Jackie Earl Haley. Scorsese gets what he needs out of everyone, and they work very well off each other. Everyone was making the same film.
Shutter Island may not be one of Scorsese's elite films, but that is not a knock on the film considering he has made Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, Taxi Driver, The Departed, and my personal favorite film of his, The Last Temptation of Christ. I could keep going, but the point is despsite not being his best film, Shutter Island manages to be the year's best film so far, and had it made its original release date on October 2nd, it would have been possibly the best film last year! Mid-level Scorsese films are still better than 90% of a director's best film. Just go in blind, and enjoy the ride!
I give Shutter Island 5/5!