‘Shutter Island‘ is a haunting and grappling tale about the power of the mind and Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio more than deliver in this chilling and unforgetable tale.
The movie, which many have been waiting on for quite a while, was finally released February 20th and delivered the goods at the box office this weekend. Check here to see the box office results.
‘Shutter Island’ stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a U.S Marshall named Teddy Daniels. We first meet him on a ship with his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) as they approach Shutter Island to investigate the mysterious disapearance of one of the patients named Rachel. Shutter Island houses a mental institute run by Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and the island, patients and staff all seem odd and secretive. You immediately start to question just like Teddy does, what is really going on at Shutter Island and will Teddy ever make it off of the island alive? (Spoilers below).
‘Shutter Island’ is brilliantly directed by Martin Scorsese with lighting, music and camera shots that make for a suspenseful movie. However, the star and shining spot of the film was Leonardo DiCaprio, who has once and for all silenced all naysayers as to the depth of his craft. I was caught up in Teddy’s emotions, pain, questions, dreams- every nuance that passed through DiCaprio’s body and fiber was one that the audience felt. While the movie had a brilliant script (the ending will shock you and leave your mouth hanging open and maybe some tears), and music that anticipated every heartbeat; I did have some issues with the greenscreen. Some shots were so obviously fake that I didn’t for a second really think that DiCaprio or Ruffalo were really at sea; but that didn’t detract from the movie.
‘Shutter Island’ is based off the book by the same name by Dennis Lehane, the man who also brought us ‘Mystic River’. The movie makes you think, makes you worried, makes you scared, makes you mad and then crashes you down into a mind boggling world of disbelief. To put it mildly it’s a must-see for every lover of film. The movie also stars Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson and Max Von Sydow.
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Do not continue reading if you do not want to know what happens in ‘Shutter Island’.
This is a very basic storyline and not a complete retelling of the movie- which really is quite clever and has many turns, that I would not even be able to write about because I doubt I got everything in one sitting.
U.S Marshall Teddy Daniels is investigating the disapearance of Rachel, a woman who was sent to the island because she drowned her three kids. However Rachel doesn’t believe that she killed her kids at all. Rachel lived in a room that had one locked door and a window that was barred; yet no-one knows how she disappeared.
Teddy Daniels also has flash backs of his past, his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) died in an apartment fire, that was started by the maintenance man, Laeddis, in the building and she sometimes comes to him in dreams. took the case on Shutter Island because he believed that experiments were being done on the patients in the mental facility on Shutter Island. This is because a former patient on Shutter Island George Noyce told him what was going on and begged to not get sent back to the institute, after he killed some people.
Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck investigate the disappearance of Rachel and question other patients and the staff. It turns out that Rachel’s primary psychiatrist Dr. Sheehan had left on the ferry right before Teddy got there. Teddy starts to suspect that Dr. Crawley is not being honest and everyone is in on a big cover up. He also starts to have weird and bad dreams and he starts shaking. He believes that he is being drugged and after confirmation from some other people he believes he is being set-up so that they can say he is crazy and unable to leave Shutter Island.
During an awful hurricane on the island, Teddy is able to go to Ward 3, where all the most dangerous patients are kept. He ends up talking to George Noyce, who has actually been sent back to Shutter Island and has a conversation with him that is disturbing. He promises George that he will get him off of the island.
He then trys to find a way to get to the light house so that he can see where the experiments are going on- however he know longer trusts his partner Chuck and tells him not to come. During all of these scenes, Teddy has flashbacks of his time in Nazi Germany and a certain little girl who keeps asking him why didn’t you save me?
Well, Teddy doesn’t make it to the lighthouse but finds a cave and hiding in the cave is Rachel. Rachel states that she was actually a doctor on the island. And then she confirms that she isn’t really sick and never had any kids but that they made her out to be insane because they didn’t want her to leave the island because of the experiments they were doing.
What is the big twist in ‘Shutter Island’?
U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels is not really a U.S Marshall. He is really a patient at the mental institute and has been for 24 months. He was put there because his wife drowned their three kids and then he shot her. His partner Chuck, is actually his doctor and was going along with the charade as part of an experiment that he and Dr. Crawley were doing to try and help mentally insane patients. They were hoping that it would work so that they didn’t have to give Teddy a lobotomy and that he would realize once and for all that he was Laedis and not Teddy Daniels and not relapse. The day after Teddy realizes that he really isn’t a U.S Marshall, the doctors say they really hope that he stays this way. However, when Dr. Sheehand goes to talk to him at the end of the movie, Teddy turns to him and says we can find a way Chuck. This leaves Dr. Sheehan to believe that Laedis believes he is U.S Marshall Teddy Daniels again. However, right before he walks off to get his lobotomy he turns to Dr. Sheehan and says, “Is it better to live as a monster or die a good man?” (Many people believe this means that he actually did know what had really happened but would rather not live with the guilt and pain any longer).
Alternate understanding of the movie
The big debate going on with people who have read the book and seen the movie is: Was Teddy really insane or was he just brainwashed and drugged into thinking he was really Andrew Laedis? The great part about the movie is that both possibilities could be correct. Go and watch the movie and see what you think!
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If you want to watch any of these movies when they come out, you can choose from many great movie theaters in Los Angeles. Some of the best one’s I’ve been to are:
1. Regal Cinemas LA LIVE Stadium 14-1000 West Olympic Boulevard,Los Angeles, CA 90015
2. Pacific Theaters- The Grove- 189 The Grove Drive Los Angeles, CA 90036
3. AMC Burbank- 125 E. Palm Ave. Burbank, CA 91502