"a deeply rich, thought provoking, intriguing and complex story"
Martin Scorsese, arguably one of the best directors of our time delivers a deeply rich, thought provoking, intriguing and complex story of one mans journey of self discovery. Shutter Island is the great American director's intriguing tribute to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. Set in 1954, the film centers around Leonardo DiCaprio, a US Marshal sent on assignment to Shutter Island, to a center for the criminally insane. One of the most deranged "patients" has escaped from her cell, and Leo's character Teddy Daniels is sent out to investigate.
From the beginning, the film puts its audience in a state of unease. The first shots on the ferry have a dreamlike, hallucinatory quality that carries on throughout the film. Cuts within individual scenes never quite match continuity - actors' physical proximity and movements don't fully mesh. However, the principal cast are brilliant, Leonardo DiCaprio excels to new heights as the lead investigator, Mark Ruffalo is wonderful as Chuck, and Ben Kingsley turns out one of the best performance of his career. The supporting cast namely Michelle Williams and Jackie Earle Haley provide strong performances even with their short time on screen.
The setting is beautifully rich, on an island that is far from civilization, a converted fort, cliff side and light house provide wonderful backdrops to the story. That being said, Shutter Island isn't for the average film goer looking for an easy ride - a lot of thought required, the film keeps you guessing right to the end. I think a stripped down and simplified script would have helped a lot, as it is, Shutter Island felt a little too long. It may not be Scorsese's best, but this film is definitely not to be missed. It takes you on a psychological thrill ride, without resorting to blood and gore.