Shutter Island

In Martin Scorsese’s latest film, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshall sent to Shutter Island, a mental health facility for the criminally insane, to investigate the disappearance of a female patient. Once on the island, Teddy and his partner, Chuck Aule, (Mark Ruffalo) are met by guards and doctors, who are unwilling to cooperate with the marshalls’ investigation. A tremendous storm forces Teddy to stay on the island and search for the missing woman and his wife’s murderer, whom he believes is also housed on the island.

The dream sequences in the movie were a little over the top. It is clear that Scorsese wanted to use the dreams experienced by Teddy as a way to tell the backstory and a way to set up the ending of the movie, but the number and length of the dreams seemed excessive. In addition, the World War 2 dreams seemed to be unnecessarily violent.

Leonardo DiCaprio was superb as Teddy. He seemed to completely engross himself in the role, and the range of his acting ability was definitely on display. Teddy was an unforgettable character, and one that I wanted to succeed throughout the entire movie. Other than the Departed, it was definitely my favorite role that DiCaprio has played.

Overall, I would recommend this movie. DiCaprio’s performance alone is worth the price of admission. However, be advised that the dream sequences took up too much of the movie, and contributed to the film’s unnecessary lengthiness.

4 thoughts on “Shutter Island”

  1. I think the beauty of the entire movie is you don’t know how to feel and you don’t know which to believe. You are very much in the mind of Leo’s character. Paranoid and stuck between two different things that both could very much be true. I called it very early on. The fact that it didn’t show him anywhere else but the Ferry and the Island. He has experienced Trauma. The Doctor said he does experimental procedures. Patients seemed coached. Just met his partner. And there wasn’t much to the movie unless he was crazy. Frankly, practically from the beginning I just felt that’s the only way it could have been.

  2. At first i thought this was a terrible movie. But I realized that was just because I expected much more from Martin Scorcese. I was excited about what was going on in the movie, until it got half way through I started to fear for the plot,and to my horror the movie ended the way I hoped it wouldn’t.

    In my opinion the way the movie ended, defeated the purpose of everything going on in the film, I don’t even get why the movie was made.

  3. For those that have not yet watched Shutter Island, a warning: spoilers follow.

    Hello Theresa, I’d like to comment on your view of the dream sequences.
    At first I was inclined to agree with you, until the final twist was revealed. As you know most of the movie is an elaborate fantasy viewed through Laeddis’s fractured mind and at the same time an obvious homage to pulp fiction (nazi scientists, conspiracies within conspiracies etc.). The dream sequences, would be hopelessly overblown or out of place if they were meant to flesh out a real character.
    But Teddy is not real. He is the principal character in a pulp fantasy, and pulp as you know is all about exaggerating things, which is why the dreams themselves are exaggerated.
    Since Teddy is just fiction (of a specific kind, the kind of which Laeddis might have read in his spare time), I think they fit. But they did seem jarring until the final twist was revealed, I’d agree on that.

    Cheers,

    Varyag

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