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A Mystery Film Like No Other
Martin Scorsese does it again, as he creates a powerful film noir masterpiece like no other. Out of all the films I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, this has to be one of the most unique films ever created. Even after seeing the movie, it'll leave audiences wondering exactly what happened, as the story could be perceived in several different ways. Set in 1954, the film follows a couple of U.S. Federal Marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who arrive at a remote island, where a mental institution for the criminally insane rests. Both of them are assigned to investigate the disappearance of one of the patients, who is believed to be criminally insane and hiding somewhere on the remote Shutter Island. What starts off as a simple routine investigation, quickly turns into a psychological thriller like no other. It leaves the audience constantly at the edge of their seats, having to unravel the clues of this mystery. As even Teddy himself starts to question his own identity and sanity, when the case starts to grow more complex. Even around the ending, it'll still baffle viewers, as the conclusion to our story could be interpreted in several ways. Overall, "Shutter Island" is by far one of the best Martin Scorsese films ever made.
Unlike most of Scorsese's other films where the plot is pretty straight forward while portraying the underlining dark side about society, "Shutter Island" offers a different style. Offering up a film noir mystery story so intriguing and complex that it could easily baffle even the most intelligent viewer, as this film could be perceived in several ways. Indeed, I've never seen a story like this, since Akira Kurasawa's "Rashomon." Where a film takes the concept of having events played out through various points of views so perfectly, it confuses the viewer to wonder what exactly happened. Where one hand, it'll draw the viewer into believing this whole ordeal is nothing more than a set up by the government to lure Teddy, into a trap, as he's been asking a lot of questions lately. Many of which the government may not want him to know. However, on the other hand, one could interpret it as Teddy's sanity and fabric of reality may not be as accurate as he believes. Perhaps everything that he knows and thinks about himself is nothing more than a lie. Whatever the viewer's perception of the events that transpire, in the movie, the one thing that is clear it's that there's plenty of evidence on both sides of the spectrum, to support whatever belief one might have. Never before since Kurasawa's film "Rashomon", have I ever seen a movie masterfully play on the concept of the viewer's perception. Allowing for the audience to make up their own minds on what happened. However, unlike "Rashomon", this film is told entirely through the eyes of one character, Teddy, but it's told in such a unique way; the ending will leave anyone pondering the events over and over again in their minds to figure it out.
Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job playing the main protagonist, in this movie, as he's not only able to convey the emotional level of a man desperately seeking answers, during what was supposed to be a routine investigation. Only to end up questioning even his own sanity as his perception of reality becomes challenged. Suffering from migraine headaches, through out the investigation, Teddy takes some pills that the good doctor, Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), gives him. However, these pills cause him hallucinate as he suffers from various images of his past, where his wife dies tragically in a fire hazard, at the whims of a mad man named Andrew Laeddis (Elias Koteas).....or does she? Indeed, nothing is as what it seems on Shutter Island, as Teddy isn't sure who he can trust. As even his own memories tend to betray Teddy's mind, where everyone could be in on this giant conspiracy....including his own partner. With no one else to rely on, Teddy takes it upon himself to expose Shutter Island for what he believes to be wrapped up in a government conspiracy. However, with his own memories haunting and corroding his mind, can he even trust himself?
Plus, the supporting cast was nothing short of brilliant themselves as I thought each actor filled out their roles perfectly.
Martin Scorsese and Laeta Kalogridis do an excellent mixing in just the right amount of drama and suspense in this epic thriller. Allowing for the viewer to constantly be left hanging on the edge of their seats. Never allowing the audience to figure out exactly where the story is heading until the very end of it. Where each bizarre plot twist leads to another, and nothing is ever what it seems. Indeed, "Shutter Island" is one mystery film that will trick the mind of many while leaving a deep imprint on your psyche.
A must see film for any true movie fan to say the least. Leonardo DiCaprio gives the performance of his career, and Scorsese plays on the concept of perception beautifully to invoke the allure of this masterful story. "Shutter Island" is definitely one of the best films I've ever seen.