Shutter Island(2010) is a psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. The story takes place in 1954 at an island in America.
In Shutter Island there is no mercy, and therefore no opening sequence. You could almost believe it’s a trailer because we are thrown into the middle of the action; Marshalls Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are on a boat. Around them there’s a lot of water and a big, thick fog. The captain of the ship said that a big storm is brewing. This is where everything starts; from the first scene in the movie, we know that there's something wrong. Something is not quite as it should. The Marshalls discusses the case; a murderous and dangerous patient escaped from her cell on Shutter Island, a mental hospital who only takes the most dangerous and mentally sick patients: those who nobody else wants. But it turns out soon that it is not only prisoners who are hidden on Shutter Island. The deeper Teddy and Chuck dig, the less pleasant and perfect becomes Shutter Island. Things are really not as they should be here, and it seems that everyone knows it, from the commanders to the nurses. A conspiracy is concealed, hidden under the otherwise beautiful surface. And now it's up to Teddy to reveal it.
Shutter Island is an almost completely perfect thriller, in which all the people involved do really know how it's best to capture the audience. Under the auspices of Martin Scorsese, all the actors shows them self off really good: from the beloved Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels and Ben Kingsley as the deputy commander of the island to the new and almost "unknown" Mark Ruffalo as Chuck and Jackie Earle Haley as one of the prisoners. Everyone is quite outstanding in every single scene they appear in, there's really none bad actors in this movie (from my point of view). Because even though I’m not a DiCaprio fan, this is absolutely one of his better movies. All roles are played perfectly, from nurses and doctors, to patients and main roles. The actors deliver all they can, and more. All the acting feels natural, and it was actually not a single place in the movie where I thought that Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo DiCaprio; from the very first scene, he was Teddy Daniels, even before he had time to introduce himself.
Scorsese shows that film is something he can handle well, even though he is well within his 60’s. He trims his movie muscles and provides a great psychological thriller with a fantastic history and structure. In the beginning, when we experience flashes with information about Teddy's past, we know that Teddy is a man who is struggling. You should be well skilled when you manage to tell an entire back-story and make it extremely interesting using small flashes in the past. There are often things that trigger these flashes; things that do not make sense right away. Until we are explained, by Teddy himself, what his past involved. But when we get these explanations, it makes sense. But these flashes are very obscure and I warn you: Shutter Island will confuse you!
Another thing I want to point out is the migraine-scene in the movie. Teddy suffers from a headache that eventually goes to the migraine. And the way this sequence is filmed, directed and clip together is nothing less than brilliant. The screen is vibrant white, the music is low and somber, Teddy is in great pain and the other characters help him. Really one of the prettiest scenes there is to watch. And when we're talking about scenes: There was several times you got the feeling something terrifying is going to happen, but it doesn't go the way you thought it should. Suddenly in a other scene it does happen. This is one of the things I really love with this movie: You get scared at the moments you don't think you will and not always at the ones you actually do think that.
The setting in the film is a masterpiece: there’s not even a doubt that we are in the 50's, on Shutter Island, in a Nazi camp or at home with Teddy. Colors, touching, sets, and costumes are perfect. But there’s only one minus when it comes to the brilliant composition of music: at the start of the movie, we get a thunder of crude orchestral music. It’s too violent! Anyway throughout the film there’s full control over the story: when things will be revealed, how much of it will be revealed and so on. Everything is carefully thought through so that the audience will not understand the whole context. In addition to the large twist, the movie has a disturbing, but still fantastic final, which takes it up to the highest grade. Films with a big twist like this can quickly become a little pathetic so the end does not deliver. But in even though Shutter Island probably has some of the biggest plot twists I’ve ever seen, the end is really the finishing touch. It’s the consummation of the character that we have become familiar with over 2 hours.
Shutter Island is really a piece of mind. Following the journey, there’s a bunch of great actors and really a worthy story. This psychological thriller has a great final that you simply cannot afford to lose!
If you like twisted thrillers… I recommend you to see it right away. I intend to give Shutter Island 8/10