Image credit: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
We anticipate the unexpected in a thriller. Without revealing too much, the most intriguing part of the psychological thriller Shutter Island is the winding story line about a U.S. Marshall assigned to a missing person case at a hospital for the criminally insane. Set in 1954 on a remote island in the Boston harbor, the film progresses like a zigzagging maze that leads you to wonder where and how it will end.
Adapted from Dennis Lehane’s novel, “Shutter Island” is a puzzling mystery with a classic whodunit appeal and reminiscent of M. Night Shayamalan‘s “The Sixth Sense” (1999) with all its cryptic imagery and forboding clues. But instead of a revovling succession of creepy dead people appearing and vanishing, the story line goes back and forth between macabre flashback scenes and nightmarish dream sequences.
In this Martin Scorcese film, United States Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a World War II veteran and widower plagued by memories of a Nazi death camp and his dead wife (Michelle Williams). Daniels is assigned a case to investigate the disappearance of an insane patient from Ashecliffe Hospital who murdered her own children. And for personal reasons of his own, he is eager to investigate the suspicious happenings at the fortress-like institution.
At times the film’s story line evolves slowly, gets predictable, and a bit confusing. But DiCaprio’s dramatic acting, Mark Ruffalo’s role as loyal sidekick (he plays Daniels partner), and Academy Award winning Ben Kingsley’s rendition of an austere psychiatrist, is sure to keep you engaged. In addition, Scorcese serves up an abundance of symbolic clues including fire, water, and the color red.
If you are looking for a scare, this isn’t the flick for you. If you want to see a decent thriller (and get a few chills) “Shutter Island” is a must-see movie with an underlying message about coping with grief and guilt and an interesting peek into the world of someone who teeters on the brink of insanity.
Release: February 19
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams
Directing: Martin Scorcese
Runtime: 2 hrs. 18 min.
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