Following the Academy Award win for “Best Picture” for the 2006 film, The Departed, Martin Scorsese jumps into the genre of a psychological thriller with Shutter Island (2010). The film initially surrounds the escape of a murderous patient at Ashecliffe Hospital in 1954, resulting in U.S. Marshal, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) assigned to an investigation at Ashecliffe. The hospital is a large, built-up insane asylum located on a remote, desolate island outside of Boston Harbor. The only way on or off the island is via Ferry…controlled by the hospital. Upon arrival, the detectives come across the missing woman’s locked room from where she has vanished. In total disbelief, the investigation deepens, forcing Teddy to notice the unusual activity within the hospital and all of its workers. Believing he is now a part of a master plan, Teddy feels the effects of brainwashing controlled by assumed Nazis at the hospital. Fighting to get off the island, Teddy realizes he must face his inner demons in order to stay alive.
Perhaps Scorsese’s most underrated film, Shutter Island is an unexpected project from the director. With the exception of Cape Fear (1991), Scorsese rarely deals with the genre of suspense— Something he thrives in. An uncanny resemblance to the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Shutter Island captivates with an eerie film score, and engaging camera work… making the audience ask if they are the insane ones. With NO SPOILERS, the film has an unbelievable twist that questions your own reality. After the initial viewing, the film makes for another fun watch when small details are picked up on, making you scream, “how the hell did I not realize that?!”
In addition to the dazzling camera, direction, writing, and music, DiCaprio gives another great performance, along with many of his costars…making an overall great production by Scorsese. Despite the lack of Oscar nominees and the mediocre Rotten Tomatoes rating, Shutter Island is a great film to not only indulge in but to analyze. Scorsese excels at making the audience feel caged in and stuck with DiCaprio’s character on this island. With an initial theatrical release set for October of 2009, Paramount Pictures deiced to release the film in February 2010 due to financial reasons. The studio went over their yearly budget and due to the ‘08/’09 market crash, did not have "the financing in 2009 to spend the $50 to $60 million necessary to market a big awards pic like this" (Finke). This resulted in the film missing award season and a whack at the Oscars and was ultimately overlooked at the start of 2010. As far as filmmaking goes, Shutter Island has every reason to be a larger acclaimed and more appreciated film. At the fault of the studio and the then economy, this film was never recognized at its fullest potential. A total hidden gem among the work of Martin Scorsese!
Story/Plot – 18/20 Direction – 20/20 Acting - 19/20
Cinematography – 19/20 Score/Soundtrack – 18/20
The Founder of @HennionProductions,