Thursday, February 18, 2010



Living under a rock is the only way you could not have heard of Shutter Island, a movie that comes out tomorrow with Leo in the lead, Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo rounding off the brilliant cast, and Martin Scorsese holding the reigns.

Shutter Island rarely lets the audience get comfortable in their seats with the choppy music, dim lighting, and plethora of disturbing images. Leonardo DiCaprio's portrayal of his character Teddy Daniels amplifies the unease for what is next with his masterful acting. Even though Leo is always great, not good, great, this is definitely one of his best performances.

The element of tension was the best executed piece of this project. Uncertainty for what is next for Leo's character is apparent in every scene and weaves itself as a constant theme throughout the movie. Scorsese ratchets up the anxiety of the story with horrifying images, ominous lighting in almost all scenes, and an unrelenting destructive storm that sets the unsettling mood early in the story.

The film is based on a novel with the same title written by Dennis Lehane. This is not the first book from Lehane to be turned into a Hollywood production. He also wrote Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River. The screenplay for Shutter Island was cleverly written by Laeta Kalogridis (Alexander).

He composed a slow developing plot that kept the audience hinged on what possibly could happen next. So many dark elements in this story take so long to finally unravel, but by the end the confounding deranged storyline all wraps up perfectly.

Overall, Shutter Island was everything that I hoped it would be. If you notice I did not even divulge any plot details in my review and that is because I suggest you check it out instead of having me try and set the table for you. The acting is superb, the direction and writing are the same.

 (Scorsese seen with DiCaprio and Michelle Williams)

Leonardo DiCaprio cannot possibly go much longer in his career playing roles like this without winning himself a golden statue at the Academy Awards. Leo has a scene in Shutter Island that had me so profoundly choked up with shock it instantly caused sadness and sympathy to course through my veins. It is one of the most powerful moments I have ever seen in a movie.

The only negatives coming from this project was my desire for more fright, not just the element of suspense. Also degrading the project a bit is the film's re-watch-ability. How many more times will I have the desire to see Shutter Island? The suspense will be much less intense the second time around, so not too many. That shouldn't detract from any of you seeing it once for yourselves. Go with the confidence you will be perturbed by this distinct disturbing piece of cinema.


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