Shutter Island review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
Shutter Island is one of the greatest modern mysteries being told, regardless of medium, length, or other variables as well. It’s just as Martin Scorsese took everything he knew from his visual storytelling experience, got one of the best novels (penned by Dennis Lehane) to be adapted by one of the greatest screenwriters (Laeta Kalogridis), gather some of the best Hollywood actors in their primes (Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Max von Sydow, Ben Kingsley, Jackie Earle Haley, John Carroll Lynch, Patricia Clarkson, and more) to craft one of the finest mystery experiences ever put to screen. And that’s not an exaggeration either.
The film stars off with detective Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) travelling by boat along with his faithful sidekick Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) to uncover some kind of conspiracy in an Asylum on an uninhabited island (except for the asylum). As things usually go in these sorts of scenarios, this kind of an institution is always a symbol for dread and despair (and something gone really, really awry), and Shutter Island is no exception of this rule. Or is it? Right from the get-go, there is that underlying atmosphere that something is deeply wrong, but is it really the staff in the Asylum that’s gone bad, the patients, or perhaps the sole reality is warping around the main protagonist and his ideas of what ought to be?
Full stop. I’m not giving anything away in regards to the plot. Now let’s address the technical aspects of the film in full force.
Shutter Island is a film made with competence, grace, deliberate slow pacing, and deliberatively picked colors and light (including camera angles) to portray exactly what Scorsese wants the audience to think is going on. As the movie progresses, the changes in all of these departments becomes apartment to the point of being blatantly obvious, and this is precisely what the visuals make you think. Therein lays the true power of a talented filmmaker, who uses all of his tricks to make an experience of a lifetime.
The source material does not disappoint as well. It works on both levels too: micro mysteries and a big, giant macro mystery to engulf it all, including our protagonist Teddy Daniels. Who is Teddy? Why is he the man assigned to this particular case? Why is his companion Chuck Aule acting strange at times? Well, you have to watch the film to find out, because I ain’t telling nufhin’.
Shutter Island is a must-see for all ages and backgrounds, but it requires a tad bit of thinking to grasp the concepts as presented in the film. Kids would probably miss the major themes, as well as some adults, but the rest of you should be fine.