Eyes wide open for “Shutter Island”

— Martin Harrison contributed with this review.

The much anticipated “Shutter Island” has arrived on the silver screen and it certainly delivers the quality you expect, but definitely not how you expect it.

It is 1954 and US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) travel to an offshore asylum for the extremely dangerous and criminal insane. Their mission is to investigate an escaped convict, who has mysteriously vanished from her cell without trace.

Senior psychologists Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Naehring (Max Von Sydow) are reluctant to help them and it isn’t long before Daniels begins to suspect they have something to hide of their own.

"Shutter Island" is Leonardo DiCaprio's fourth film with Martin Scorsese.

For avid Martin Scorsese fans, “Shutter Island” comes as quite a surprise. Genre-wise it moves away from the crime mould that we have learned to associate him with, and the film takes a more thriller/horror approach.

Everyone expected something special, and they certainly got it.

The setpieces fit well with the mood Scorsese tries to achieve, and the level of detail is astounding. The pace is unpredictable and wild, fitting the film’s setting. At some parts of the film the tension is almost tangible, and is a true credit to Scorsese’s direction to create genuinely scary moments when he doesn’t specialise in producing horror films.

As the plot twists and turns you are constantly trying to battle with the change of pace, always trying to distinguish between what you think the film is trying to tell you and what the film is actually telling you.

This is DiCaprio and Scorsese’s fourth film together, and the chemistry and familiarity shines through in DiCaprio’s performance, as he portrays a damaged man searching for the truth in an island where nothing is simple.

The film is very detailed and heavy on plot, so the run time is not your usual hour and a half. But don’t be put off by the film’s 150-minute running time, as none of it is wasted and each detail adds up, making you feel you got your money’s worth.

Many will attempt to figure out the film out before they watch it (your reviewer was one of them), but no matter how sure you are of the plot, there is no way you can work it out beforehand. Fantastic stuff.

Shutter Island: 8/10

One Response to Eyes wide open for “Shutter Island”

  1. Joe Hicks says:

    Absolutely brilliant film; saw it last night… Highly recommended!
    Brilliant write-up too!