Plot: In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane – Shutter Island
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams
If you liked: American Psycho, Vertigo, A Cure For Wellness
It’s easy to see why Shutter Island divided critics and audiences alike when it came out, making you frustrated and a little confused with Scorsese’s conscious decision to mess with the viewer’s minds while the characters mess with each other, but this is something I believe helps make the film a success.
Clearly taking inspiration from films such as The Shining and Cape Fear (the remake directed by Scorsese), Shutter Island becomes one of the best psychological thriller films to come out this side of the millennium which shouldn’t be a surprise given its based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote the novels Mystic River and Gone. Baby, Gone, both of which have been adapted into excellent movies in their own right.
Leaving the audience confused and scratching their heads, Scorsese takes the best parts of the book and turns it into a beautiful-looking and unrelenting film noir, reminding me very much of Hitchcock during his height.
DiCaprio comes into his own in the role as a marshal dealing with the death of his wife and memories of liberating the German death camps, switching emotions at the drop of a hat and keeping you glued to the screen throughout, while Ruffalo and Kingsley are perfect in their supporting roles.
With a twist that although a little signposted, hints that you still may not know the real truth and the open-ended nature in which the film concludes, you really do have to watch Shutter Island more than once to maybe get your head around some surprises and plot points.