Shutter Island is a psychological thriller produced by Paramount Pictures and released in 2010. It was directed by Martin Scorsese, who was able to rely on a great cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow.
The film is based on a novel by Dennis Lehane entitled “Fear Island” and it undoubtedly deserves to take up a small space in our lives.
In 1954, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, two federal inspectors, travel by boat to an island that hides an insidious mystery. On Shutter Island there is a mental institution, called Ashecliffe, which holds the most dangerous criminals with psychological problems.
The two inspectors, interpreted by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, are given the task of finding Rachel Solando, a prisoner who has escaped. Teddy and Chuck planned to return home in the evening of that same day, but due to a hurricane they are forced to stay in the institution for a longer period of time. Inspector Daniels realizes that there is something strange in the institution: he undertakes an investigation and some disturbing facts emerge.
He finds out that on the island there are probably 67 inmates, and not 66 as he was told: for this reason he starts looking the 67th inmate.
After further investigation, Daniels decides to leave the island, which – however – turns out to be a place from which he cannot escape.
The plot is surely interesting and compelling and it doesn’t present any major script holes. However, if you get distracted and miss a small part of the film, you risk being disoriented.
In general, the plot focuses on the evolution of Teddy, the protagonist, and his psychological traits: he is analyzed under several aspects and points of view, both in relation to his present and his past.
In terms of acting, the excellent performance of DiCaprio and Kingsley surely stands out, but Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow and Michelle Williams were brilliantly able to support them.
Scorsese manages to combine photography and setting, conveying a bleak and gloomy landscape and a picturesque gothic-style scenery which supports the plot very well.
The style is surely refined and it is characterized by a slow pace that emphasizes certain situations. If you follow the film until the end, however, you will surely be fascinated by the last few minutes of the film.
This film is definitely recommended for psychological thrillers lovers and it mainly addresses an adult audience, due to its brutal and violent scenes. While watching the film, the viewer experiences different moods and emotions, such as suspense, tension, confusion, curiosity, enthusiasm.
Assuming that every viewer perceives films in a different way, we can say that in this case the already-mentioned positive aspects outweigh the negative ones. Even the ending – which is the real highlight of the film – may exalt and fascinate some viewers, but may disappoint others.
What is certain is that it is a movie worth seeing at least once in a lifetime.
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