Jun 25, 2010

Shutter Island

Shutter Island (2010)
 Directed by Martin Scorsese. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams.

Long story short: U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels is sent to Shutter Island, to a hospital for the criminally insane, to investigate the escape of a female prisoner, err, I mean patient, as they are referred to as.

I expected a lot of this film. I've read many praising reviews and really really wanted to love it. I didn't. Love it, I mean. I liked it though. So I'm a little disapointed. But only a little.

First, when I watched Shutter Island last night, I was aware I was taking a risk: I was very very VERY tired after an exhausting week at work, so it probably wasn't the ideal time to see a film like this. But I did. During the first hour I was so close to falling asleep that I had to pause the film for a moment to rest my eyes and pull myself together, which in my experience does never too much good for the watching experience. So it's very possible that under different circumstances I might've even loved Shutter Island. But only 'might've'. Liked it more, perhaps.

Leo is a controversial actor in my book. On one hand there are Titanic, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? and Revolutionary Road, and on the other... Well, these recent Scorsese films like Gangs of New York, The Aviator and The Departed that are critically well-acclaimed, but I can't make myself like any of them. It seems to me that Leo is stuck doing these certain kind of roles, which just blend into each other on my mind. I'd like to see him play a bit more light-hearted character for a change - not in a silly comedy but in a clever, witty, light-ish drama, perhaps! (And by the way, I love the friendship between him and Kate Winslet. This makes me like Leo an inch more. The friendship just seems so sweet and sincere.)

Leo on Shutter Island is okay, convincing, but not omg-my-mind-will-blow-away!! material. The first scene on the boat caused some instant Titanic associations... "Pull yourself together, Jack Teddy. It's just water. A lot of water."

Islands are excellent settings, especially for films like this. However, I didn't quite reach the feeling of claustrofobia and anxiety I was expecting. Maybe they weren't even aiming for that. Who knows. Well, Scorsese might. 

First the constant dreams and visions and flashbacks felt a bit tiring, especially those that went on and on and on. But, as they turned out to be an important part of the story, I'll forgive the film for them. And some were actually very nice and moody. The scene in the concentration camp, with the shot of the bodies of a woman and her daughter laying frozen on the ground among other bodies was wonderfully creepy and very very sad.

Scenes on the island, especially those inside the darkness of Ward C, where the most dangerous patients are kept, made me jumpy, and yet, not as much as I expected. Somehow everything about this film wasn't quite as good as I expected. On the top of everything, I didn't immiadiately get the point in the end. Which made me feel very stupid. I can only blame my fatigue and my poor concentration. I'm not that stupid, am I? AM I? Well. With a little help from IMDb my jammed brain finally got it. And yes, after I think about it more closely after good 11 hours of sleep, I see the cleverness of it all. And I know I should watch it again. Maybe I will.

Next, hello sunshine. Great Midsummer, everyone!

"You'll never leave this island."

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