By Emily Keahey
Psychological thriller, Shutter Island, stuns viewers with sudden twists and an uncertain ending.
Set in 1954, U.S. Marshals Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) go to the infamous Ashecliffe Asylum.
Located on Shutter Island off the coast of Massachusetts, this nearly impenetrable mental hospital houses only the most dangerous criminally insane.
They have been dispatched to investigate the disappearance of a murderess named Rachel Solando.
The mystery is how she managed to escape; her cell has a secure metal bolt
and is protected by guards 24/7.
Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) even says, “It’s as if she vanished through the walls.”
While talking to Cawley about the facility and its treatments, Daniels learns that there is a war going on in the psychiatric community. Some believe in human experiments, which include lobotomies, while others are trying new psychotropic drugs.
Cawley says they believe in listening to the patient and trying to make their existence more comfortable, but with all the creepiness in the movie, viewers get the feeling that he may not be completely honest with Daniels about the subject.
Strange interviews with patients, an uncooperative staff and restricted buildings lead Daniels to quickly realize that something much more sinister is going on.
Frustrated by the case and lack of progress he has made, Daniels threatens to go to the FBI, but the following day a hurricane hits and makes it impossible for the ferry to get to the island.
As expected, the extra time on the island is where things get really interesting. Although some questions seem to be answered, even more are raised.
Daniels seems to be haunted by the patients around him. The flashbacks of World War II and his dead wife add to his anxiety and the movie’s suspense as the line between reality and illusion blur.
Director Martin Scorsese’s adaption from Dennis Lehane’s novel is fantastic.
It is a dark, gothic plot that twists and surprises viewers until the end.
From the initial fog on the ferry ride over to the razor-like cliffs of the island, an ominous mood is set.
The performances from all the actors and actresses are great. Dicaprio’s unwavering accent is quite impressive, and Kingsley’s performance is one of the best he has done in years.
Within the first weekend, Shutter Island earned more than $40 million and held the top of the box office list for two weeks.
Originally scheduled to release last October, many suspected that the February premiere was a bad move, but the high ratings proved those pessimists wrong.
This terrifying thriller keeps viewers captivated. Although it may be confusing at times and leave viewers searching for answers as they leave the theater, the unpredictability is part of the lure.
It deserves a solid 4.5 out of 5 for being an impressive movie from start to finish.
Shutter Island is rated R due to disturbing and violent content, language and some nudity.