Shutter Island Review
*Thank you to Morgan Payne for the suggestion
Much as I love Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island is a swing and a miss. This 2010 thriller featuring an all star cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams fails to deliver on all cylinders. In this post, I highlight some of the film's bright points along with its many disappointments. SPOILER WARNING.
Set in 1954, Shutter Island follows U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), as they journey to an island to find a fugitive murderer who vanished from the island's insane asylum.
Although I did not particularly enjoy the plot of this movie, I have to give credit to DiCaprio, Ruffalo, and Kingsley who all delivered terrific performances with what they had to work with. Also, the dream sequences throughout the film were a clear high point. I must credit the cinematography of the dream by the lake sequence where the sky exhibits a magnificent array of colors. Another high point is the dramatic score that accompanies the cinematography of the breathtaking rocky landscape. Those are truly all the positive notes that I have on this film.
It's now time to discuss my many issues with this film. For starters, I struggled to understand what was happening throughout the entire movie. Many random names were thrown around that were too hard to keep track of and many of the characters introduced contributed absolutely nothing to the plot. For example: What was Dr. Naehring's roll in the movie? Why was the Warden introduced if he was only going to have one conversation in the entire film? Also, what actually happens in the Lighthouse? I couldn't believe how many irrelevant side-plots were introduced into this film, and I couldn't stand it.
To be fair, the conclusion of the film attempted to answer some of these questions but it wasn't enough for me. You cannot just suddenly turn the protagonist into the antagonist within a five minute period at the end of the film. I do understand that the ending was supposed to be ambiguous, but it just felt rushed rather than clever to me.
Final Word: Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island is an incoherent mess that should have been shuttered in production.