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Shutter Island: Movie & Mindgame

Posted: July 22, 2010

In Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up once again to create compelling cinema that will stay with viewers.

By Anne John

(Love to read? Or are the movies your cup of tea? Women’s Web is interested in publishing book and movie reviews from readers. Send your review to editor AT womensweb.in. Click here for guidelines on contributing.)

Shutter Island, a psychological thriller is yet another captivating work of art from the Martin Scorsese stable. Based on Dennis Lehane’s eponymous novel, it begins with US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) along with his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), arriving at The Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, on a remote place called Shutter Island. They have been assigned to investigate the disappearance of a dangerous inmate.

As the movie progresses we are also introduced to Daniels’ own troubled and ambiguous past. The duo interrogates both the staff as well as the patients. It appears as though everyone is guarding some well-kept secret and know more than what they are willing to admit.

In the course of their work, the pair uncovers certain disturbing and intriguing details which lead them to believe that they themselves may be in mortal danger from the doctors and care-takers of the facility. Unfortunately, they are unable to immediately leave the island due to inhospitable conditions and seem to be trapped with no way out.

Do they manage to save themselves? If so, how? What exactly is happening at this place in the name of medical treatment? All these questions are answered as the movie unfolds.

The mood of the entire movie is one of dark mystery and impending doom. The suspense and tension is palpable. The gloominess is accentuated by the background score as well as the cinematography, which captures the rugged, wild and rain-lashed island effectively.

The cast also includes Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, and Emily Mortimer among others. The combination of Scorsese’s direction and DiCaprio’s powerful acting which has enthralled audiences in their earlier films together (The Departed, The Aviator) proves to be magical once again.

Be prepared to witness a movie that is bound to taunt you and lead you on a precarious path. Life is full of choices and Shutter Island offers you the choice to decide what to believe. Human minds can often play games of smoke and mirrors, where there is only a thin line separating reality from falsehood. This movie tries to sift through the murky, shifting shadows of truth and lies that often lurk beyond the deceptive veils of our minds. It succeeds because this is a film that stays with you and haunts your thoughts long after you have seen it.

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