Archive for June 5th, 2010


Movie Review: Shutter Island

By Saurin Parikh

I’ve been looking at my laptop screen for the past 10 minutes, itching to write a sensational review for this movie, exalting it with the highest praises that I can dish out. Pardon me if I fail to write a review that befits this movie, but don’t, for any rhyme or reason, miss “Shutter Island”.

A gem, a classic, a beauty by Martin Scorsese, “Shutter Island” is a movie about people with messed up heads. And it messes with yours. Based on a Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, and written for the screen by Laeta Kalogridis, “Shutter Island” is a sensational piece of work. It is a psychotic puzzle, an intriguing mystery that unravels bit by bit, with each twist and each turn catching you unawares. Lehane deserves numerous rounds of applause for coming up with this story and Kalogridis and Scorsese deserve the same for turning it into a simply fascinating movie.

“Shutter Island” has Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. DiCaprio’s journey from “Titanic” to “The Aviator” to “Blood Diamond” to “The Departed” to “Revolutionary Road” has been truly remarkable, and once again, he carries a movie entirely on his very able shoulders. Of course, he once again has a very solid script to support him, and it is this combination of strong script, excellent direction and powerful performances that makes “Shutter Island” a riveting watch.

Starring alongside DiCaprio are Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo. I’ve seen Ruffalo previously in “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” and “You Can Count On Me” (one of his finest, but lesser known roles), and he’s got this vulnerability about him that is endearing. Both Ruffalo and DiCaprio are great emotive actors and watching them together is a treat.

As far as the story of “Shutter Island” is concerned, I won’t say much. And don’t try to find out much before you go for the movie either. The story is set in 1954. Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio), a US Marshal comes with fellow US Marshal, Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) to investigate the disappearance of an Ashecliff Hospital patient on “Shutter Island”. The hospital treats the worst of the insane criminals, those with extreme psychological disorders. The island houses nothing else but the hospital and there is no way for a patient to escape from it. Dr Cawley (Kingsley) is the head psychiatrist of the hospital and doesn’t fully co-operate with the Marshals’ investigations. This leads Teddy to suspect more than what meets the eyes and he decides to probe further. His partner, Chuck, learns that Teddy is dealing with a traumatic past and has some other reasons for taking up this case on “Shutter Island”. And that is all that you need to know about the story.

The remarkable thing about “Shutter Island” is that it is almost an un-guessable story. It is a web of suspense that I was unable to penetrate while watching the movie. It keeps you guessing right till the very end, never letting you settle with the belief that the mystery has been solved.

“Shutter Island” is a brilliant movie. It’ll keep you hooked at the edge of your seat at all times. It’s the kind of movie that can’t be rated on a scale of five stars. It deserves much more than that.

Consequently, I give it 7 out of 5 stars.

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June 2010
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