Thursday, 18 February 2010

Shutter Island: Movie Review

Shutter Island: Movie Review

Rating: 8/10
Cast: Leonardo di Caprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow
Director: Martin Scorsese
Scorsese and di Caprio reteam for this spooky mystery thriller adapted from the book by Dennis Lehane (who wrote Mystic River), which was pushed back from last year amid rumours the film company didn't have the cash needed to promote it because of the recession.
Di Caprio stars as US Marshall Teddy Daniels who's sent to a mental asylum on Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of an inmate who is believed to still be somewhere on the island.
However, along with his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), he finds his investigation blocked at every turn by the doctors in charge of the facility (chiefly Ben Kingsley's Dr Cawley). And as the pair find themselves stranded on the island by a storm, Teddy starts to suffer from flashbacks to the murder of his wife (Michelle Williams) and unsure of exactly who to trust.
Spooky, creepy and full of generally unsettling images, Shutter Island manages to be both disturbing and a masterclass in film making. Once again Martin Scorsese's created a cinematic experience which is full of his trademark camera work and vision which builds a claustrophobic world where you're never quite sure what's going on. Along with a great use of soundtrack and silence, the overall atmosphere is one of menace and uncertainty.
Di Caprio's pretty damn good as the marshall who's struck by visions of his dead wife as he investigates the disappearance - and he starts to unravel the further in he looks into what goes on; equally the supporting cast of Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley do well to keep the mystery going. And Michelle Williams is haunting as Teddy's wife who perished in a fire set by someone Teddy believes is in the asylum.
If you're a regular film goer, you may well spot what's going on - but I guarantee you you won't pick up 100% of what exactly is happening - and yes there's plenty to discuss about the film but unless you want spoilers, here is not the place.

Shutter Island is a moody, enigmatic return from Scorsese - and it's great to see him tackle something slightly different - and he brings to it echoes of the Shining and pulp B movies. It's quite a thrilling ride and while there are a few lulls and the film feels a little long at the end, Shutter Island is a film with a compelling mystery wrapped up in it which will keep you onboard until the credits roll.

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