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Friday, September 22, 2023


Scorsese shines through the ‘Shutters’

Leonardo DiCaprio fulfills anticipations in the adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s book Shutter Island last weekend. | Paramount Pictures

Martin Scorsese has done it again.

His newest film, Shutter Island, debuted this weekend, and the critics and audience love it. Scorsese’s body of work includes films such as Gangs of New York, Good Fellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Cab and The Departed, which won the 2006 Best Motion Picture of the Year Award.

Shutter Island is just what we’d expect from such a fantastic director. It’s dark, intriguing and has a mind-boggling twist at the end.

We’ve all seen the previews for Shutter Island — “it’s a mental hospital … for the criminally insane” — but what is it really about? The film takes us through an investigation headed by U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is haunted by his mysterious past, along with his partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo).

Once on the island, the investigation takes no delay. The two marshals examine the disappearance of Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), an island inmate who has drowned her three children and, thus, created a fantasy world within the island to suppress the horrible memories of what she has done. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Through twists and turns that Scorsese is famous for, we find out that Shutter Island is much more than what is on the surface.

The island is the Alcatraz of mental hospitals, housing patients no other mental institutions will take. Patients are demented, hysterical and often mutated. Shout and screams can be heard all over the island — especially from the mysterious Ward C, where only the “most dangerous and damaged patients” go.

Since the island is for the criminally insane, the distinction between reality and fantasy are muddled. Daniels’ shadowy past leads us though a labyrinth of a plot.

Once on the island and the investigation is underway, the questions begin to pile up. Did Solando even disappear? Does she even exist? Why was Daniels really brought to Shutter Island? And what is everyone on the island hiding from Daniels and Aule?

This maze of questions that we get pulled into from the beginning of the movie is what Scorsese is famous for. Emerged in a flood of memories from Daniels’ past, including murders in the World War II, images of his dead wife and a mysterious child, Shutter Island leaves us hanging even until the film credits roll.

All in all, even though Shutter Island was long and enduring, the webby plot, all-star cast and fist-clutching suspense will keep you absorbed. Compared to an Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller, Shutter Island is incredibly written and well directed. If you’re a Scorsese fan or just looking for the perfect thriller/suspense movie, Shutter Island will give you your fix.

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