Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a film about a U.S marshal called Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is sent to Shutter Island, a mental institution for the criminally insane, to solve a missing persons case. Teddy arrives on the island with his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) and finds the tension waiting for them from both patients and guards to be unusually high. After meeting with the oddly mysterious head of the institution Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley) things began to appear more complex than they first seemed. The island seems intent on pushing Teddy to the very edge of his sanity until he is not sure what is real. He soon discovers this is no coincidence he got this missing persons case, he was meant to come to this island and face his darkest fears.  

What can I say about Scorsese and DiCaprio, they are a brilliant team. Whenever they work together the end result is always excellent. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the other titles where they have teamed up; Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed all of which are brilliant films and all of which, in my opinion, are some DiCaprio’s best work. When DiCaprio is teamed with a good director such as Scorsese he excels as an actor. I think he was brilliant in Shutter Island and he seemed to suit that 50’s era so convincingly. We all know by now that he can produce a brilliant performance but the standard of performance he had to pull out for this film was high, and he nailed it. He got you believing he was indeed Teddy Daniels and as the story began to unfold you find yourself really connecting with his character and feeling everything he feels. He captivates the audience and that is what you need from your lead role. 

Mark Ruffalo who plays Teddy’s partner Chuck gave a good supporting performance. The two seemed to work well together and when suspicions begin to arise from Teddy towards his new partner you really have no idea whether Teddy is correct in his suspicions or if the island is just getting to him. I have always like Ruffalo and seen him as a diverse and likable actor and could not have been more happy when he was named as the new Bruce Banner in the upcoming Avenger film.

Ben Kingsley, as always, gives a brilliant performance as Dr. John Cawley, the mysterious and sometimes infuriating head of the institution on Shutter Island. I have come to expect, as many of you must do, nothing but brilliance from Kingsley and he did not fail to deliver. I could not for the life of me work out what Dr. Cawley was about in this film, was he helping or hindering them, so all credit to Ben for playing him so wonderfully.

This film was one of my favourites from 2010; I found it to be intriguing, infuriating and fascinating all at the same time. The excellent performances from the cast only gives due credit to the wonderfully inspiring Martin Scorsese. Yet again the team of DiCaprio and Scorsese has proved to be nothing short of fantastic. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes a good psychological thriller which keeps you guessing right through to the final scenes, excellent stuff. 

2 thoughts on “Shutter Island (2010)”

  1. Nice review, couldn’t agree more about DiCaprio, the partnership he has crafted with Scorsese is terrific and therefore, as you rightly pointed out, some of Leo’s best performances have arisen from it, especially in Shutter Island.

  2. The mystery in Shutter Island is uncanny! Dicaprio’s performance was extremely breath taking and Scorsese is a mere genius!

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