Thursday, February 18, 2010
Much has been made of this movie. The frustration at having the dates pushed back and then finally, like Christmas, it was apon us. There is little to tell of the story of this Hitchockian film noir by Sir Martin of Scorsese, for to outline the story too far would be to give the plot away. It's the tale of Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), a US Marshall, that along with his partner (Mark Ruffalo) embark on a journey in 1954 to an institute for the criminally insane on Shutter Island. Their task is to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an inpatient. Teddy is assisted with his enquiries by the Director of the Institue (Sir Ben Kingsley) and various other inpatients and staff. During the course of the film the Marshall descends in on himself in a spiral of hallucinations, memories of the liberation of Dachau, meetings and migraines. All is not as it seems on Shutter Island...
Firstly, without question, the acting is superb. Leonardo DiCaprio gives yet another powerhouse performance, his descent into hell is emotional and understated, you feel his confusion and despair. Mark Ruffalo is consistantly excellent in everything he does, and his turn as Leo's partner is relaxed and warm, an excellent contrast to Marshall Daniel's wreck. Sir Ben Kingsley needs no introduction and his portrayal as the kindly, compassionate Director (or is he?) is wonderful. The rest of the cast, the divine Patricial Clarkson, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Hayley, the formidable Max Von Sydow, Ted Levine (remember him as Jame Gumb?) all just add to the quality and depth of this film. The score is menacing, the scenery hellish and strangely beautiful and the flashback/hallunication/nightmare sequences are the stuff of dreams, albeit rather hellish ones. The atmosphere this film creates is menacing, but with a sadness too. People will be looking for twists and turns at every corner, I say relax, it's not The Crying Game, there is no big reveal, rather a slow revelation over the course of the 2 1/2 hours. Be warned, some of this film is hard to watch, and shockingly confronting. Enjoy this magnificent film which embraces many genres, it's a wild ride, but I wouldn't want to take it with anyone other than Leo and Martin. SHUTTER ISLAND: Don't pay the Ferry Man. 9/10.