Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shutter Island (2010) R - 3½ Stars

I do enjoy films that mess with your head and are not predictable. Shutter Island is a good psychological mystery thriller but not one I'd consider owning. With a Twilight Zone feel, it could have been summed up faster as the slow places make the story lag. It also can be a bit confusing if not paying close attention and left me with too many unanswered questions.

Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), are deputy Marshalls taking a ferry to Shutter Island run by Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), where the mentally insane are kept. Surrounded on all sides by water, there is no escape except by boat. But somehow Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), has gone missing and Daniels and Aule are investigating her disappearance. Daniels tells Aule about his wife that was murdered by an arsonists. The two have never worked together before so Daniels tries to break the ice with chat before they arrive at the island.

At the gate they are asked to surrender their weapons to insure no patients can gain access. Three buildings make up the campus. Ward A where the men are kept, Ward B where the woman are kept and Ward C where the most clinically insane are held. While interviewing, Daniels gets the unshakable feeling that Dr. Cawley is hiding something about Ward C and the patients aren't much more help. Also why has the staff physician left suddenly for vacation when a patient is missing? Daniel finds out the arsonist who murdered his wife is being held here though he can't find any paperwork. To make matters worse, a hurricane approaches making Daniels and Aule seek refuge in a cemetery vault. When they return to the hospital,their clothes are soaked and a guard gives them white uniforms to wear while their suits are cleaned. Looking like a patients, Daniels must try to make sense of it all before going mad himself.

2010 - National Board of Review - Best Production Design

Phoenix Pictures, Sikelia Productions, Appian Way, Paramount Pictures
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Laeta Kalogridis
Producers: Arnie Messer, Bradley J. Fischer, Brad Fischer
I viewed 10/10

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