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Title: Shutter Island

Country: U.S.A (Hollywood)

Year: 2010

Box Office: $137,268,00

Director: Martin Scorsese

Producer: Martin Scorsese, Bradley J. Fischer, Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer

Writer: Laeta Kalogridis, Steven Knight, Dennis Lehane (Novel)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams

Genre: Drama/Mystery/Thriller


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Dark and intense mental therapy...

Leonardo DiCaprio is a great actor and together with director Martin Scorsese, DiCaprio moves up a notch. It is not an understatement to claim that Shutter Island only works because DiCaprio makes it convincing. It may seem to be one of Scorsese lesser work in first glance. However, the film does not disappoints, with enough suspense and interesting moments to get us through to the finish line. The ending itself is what made this film a cut above genre conventions. The film ends by raising more questions than it answers and in turn allowing the audience to decide for themselves as to what really happened. For me, it works, but for those looking for answers, it will probably just leave you wondering. Shutter Island is like a classic noir flick, its dark, its murky, it’s even depressing, but it is also quite a satisfying experience to sit through.

The movie goes like this: DiCaprio plays a cop who is assigned to an isolated island with a mental hospital. The year is the 1950s and a mental patient have escaped the maximum security of the Shutter Island. Together with his counterpart (played by Mark Ruffalo), they explore the island and like a haunted house or a horror story, nothing is what it seems to be.

Ben Kinsley is what you call a method character actor. He has the unique ability to make even the griminess of smile into something hidden or evil about it. He has the grin and looks of a cunning interior. Kingsley plays a mental health professor, but somehow he is more to it than that. A clever actor in his own right, Kingsley made his character quite an interesting one to watch. DiCaprio as mentioned before carries the film with both of his shoulders. Maturity has certainly passed him by and not for the first time, he continues to impress me with the emotional range that he possesses. His moment of mental breakdown is a joy to watch and if that moment near the end is given to a lesser light, the film may have already been blown off the rails. This is a steady-fast performance that works.

All in all, Shutter Island is a departure from the director usual aim of winning awards, but that does not mean that Shutter Island is any lesser of a movie. With strong acting turns from the increasingly reliable DiCaprio and the ever intriguing presence of Ben Kingsley, Shutter Island is convincing enough to be believable. The thought provoking ending may actually be a blessing in disguise. There is a quote that leaves us pondering: “Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?” For me, what it means is that DiCaprio chose to erase his memory and die a good man. The reason to it is simple. One of the saddest and toughest aspects of life is to have a good memory. Memories are what shape us, but also is what makes us more cynical and bitter about the world. At the end of the day, Martin Scorsese has created a movie that allows the audience to come up with their own viewpoint of what happens. Whether that is a good or bad thing, it is really the way you approach and think...(Neo 2010)

I rate it 8/10

>> Comment on this movie at the HK Neo Reviews Forum

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