From the time Shutter Island opens until it ends, you get the feeling you’re going to be in a fog of mystery.
When an inmate from an island prison and sanitarium for the criminally insane suddenly vanishes, U.S. Marshalls Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) are assigned the task of determining what went wrong and why.
The island is based around an old civil war fortress and situated somewhere in the fog of the Boston Bay where travel to and from is restricted to only a ferry which arrives on a predetermined schedule. After a very rough sea voyage for Daniels concludes, the mind games begin.
The asylum is managed by the elusive Dr. Cawley (Kingsley) and his associate Dr. Jeremiah Naehring (von Sydow) who are less than cooperative in aiding the agents in their investigation and provide road blocks at every turn. The accusational throwbacks to Nazi Germany aimed at Naehring are more than palpable. Frustrated by the lack of cooperation from Cawley and Naehring, the marshals give up and decide to return to Boston only to find themselves marooned when a hurricane hits the island.
Director Martin Scorsese does a very creative tale spinning job with flash backs to Daniels’ life in World War II and the liberation of the German concentration camp at Dachau. Intermixed with this are flash back vignettes of life with his wife, who died in a fire which at time leave you wondering where the vignette ended or even if it ended.
Daniels has a hidden agenda behind requesting this assignment. He feels that the same kinds of mental experimentations that was being done with the prisoners at Dachau is being done on the island and he’s intent on exposing this atrocity of humanity. His fears are that he’ll be discovered while doing that and looking for his wife’s killer, whom he also thinks is on the island.
The action and plotline are high paced and constant. Frankly, as the plotline develops you may wonder if what you’re watching is real or an illusion in Daniels’ mind, which only enhances the experience of this thriller.
No good movie would be without a surprise twist at the end and Shutter isn’t an exception. Brace yourself because when it’s over, you’ve not going to be sure if you seeing the real story or an early ending to a vignette sidebar plot segment.
Shutter is rated ‘R’ for a reason. It’s not for kids. But for adults, it’s a very good evening at the movies. Make sure you lock your doors when you get home.
Shutter Island – This one will play with your brain!
Rated: R Time: 2:18
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow and others
Final Grade: A-