Leonardo and Martin Do It Again
by David Tindell
Who knew two men could produce so well?
Hate them or love them, Scorsese and DiCaprio are the hottest Hollywood couple. Since the release of “Gangs of New York” (love) in 2002, Leo has been the lead in every film Martin Scorsese has directed. “The Aviator” (hate) in 2004, 2006’s “The Departed” (love), and their latest affair “Shutter Island” (love) which released last Friday.
“Shutter Island” begins with Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leo) who has been called to an eery psychiatric ward off the New England shore (you guess the name). The island hosts a collection of the worst kinds of murderers, rapists, and dangerous maniacs. With the endless stream of turns and twists, the biggest question to me is how do I review “Shutter Island” without ruining it?
From the previews, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s period-thriller novel promises “sh** your pants” thrills and “holy sh**” screams. However, those looking to be shocked will be surprised (in a bad way). What “Shutter Island” actually becomes is a thought provoking psychological thriller. One part cautionary tale and two parts action, the movie is the delicious balance of brains and bite.
Although the overall plot seems simplistic, the depth of “Shutter Island” comes from the 1950s period itself. The combined narratives of the WWII veteran, manic depressed housewife and the current state of mental care offers analogies which are at the least compelling. Whether or not they were properly fleshed out in the film, the sort of “mistiness” of the different stories at least adds intrigue to the film.
Anyone who sees “Shutter Island” will love watching it. The photography and cinematography are of Scorsese’s finest work (best since “Raging Bull”), and you will want to rewind the dream/hallucination sequences until they get stuck in your mind.
With new action and questions raised at every turn, “Shutter Island” keeps the audience at a very enjoyable pace. You can be assured that the 138 minutes will remind you how Scorsese’s style pulled off the 178 minutes of “Casino” from 1995. And just like “The Departed,” you HAVE to watch “Shutter Island” at least twice in order to fully understand the movie.
The main disappointment of “Shutter Island” is that it fails to thrill. Although a lot of apprehension is raised, nothing ever validates the suspicion. After a while, the audience needs more than scary music to be frightened. Additionally, for those who expect blood (like any good Scorsese movie), leave your fangs at home because not a lot of gore really happens.