Sunday, February 13, 2011

Movie Review: Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a Scorsese film starring Leonardo Dicaprio set at a mental hospital in 1950s Massachusetts. It is a thriller with some twists and turns. Dicaprio has been a 'muse' for Scorsese, starring in multiple big budget films under Scorsese's direction. Shutter Island is a bit slower going, and thanks to some established names, better acted than the recent Scorsese films, which I feel have relied more on sets, style and Scorsese's reputation than actual performances and story (hint hint The Departed).

It is an interesting flick, and I enjoyed it as I couldn't see everything coming. There are many moments where things can be interpreted one way or the other, which leaves the viewer wondering how the movie will play out.

The play between Max Von Sydow-Kingsley-Dicaprio-Ruffalo-Michelle Williams was fun and kept me on my feet. Who exactly is good or bad? The WW2 flashbacks and torment did play on many veterans' minds even if they were fighting a 'good war'. What was good or bad there and then? Dicaprios' put together a nice roster of conflicted characters with a loose grip on reality with wives who are constructs of their minds. I wish he had been this good when he did Gangs of New York. I could believe these characters were who they were.

Side note: I love Mark Ruffalo getting more work. He's good in his roles and believable. He's a traditional guy but well rounded, not just a caricature of a man.

Kind of like Inception, what does the ending reveal? Did the therapy not work and he's still delusional? Did he come back to reality, but realizing the horror of what really did happen to his family, did he pretend to still be delusional so they would 'take worse measures'? I lean to the realization and self imposed drastic measures interpretation.

1 comment:

Thomas Watson said...

Beyond plot and character, Shutter Island is a visual poem about the loss of self, the loss of humanity and the overwhelming tidal wave of grief that is sometimes locked within.