My rating: 8/10
This film had already been sold to me since the very first advert I saw of it on TV. On realising it was the newest release of Martin Scorsese, I didn't feel the need to find out anymore about it. As a result I went to see this film with only two expectations. The first, that I would see Leonardo Dicaprio and the second, that it would be a thriller based genre.
We are thrown into the beginning by seeing our protagonist Edward, (Dicaprio) showing lots of anxiety relating to sea sickness. As a result of being thrown straight into this feeling, we are allowed to feel the sense of uneasiness that we will continue to feel throughout the entirety of the film. We are introduced to Edward's partner, Chuck, soon after in which we see them both arrive on 'Shutter Island'. It is this point that we understand Edward is a federal marshall sent to investigate the disappearance of one of Shutter Island's mental patients.
The film then sends us on a wild goose chase full to the brim with mystery and intregue. We embark upon Edward's journey in which he uncovers conspiracys within the hospital staff and in his attempt to escape and spread the truth about the lies that have been covered up over the years.
Although this film is quite long, it is still a very exciting watch. There is a lot going on throughout it's entirety and we are constantly finding out more about the truth of the characters and the system at Shutter Island, as well as finding out more about Edward's traumatic past.
Scorsese's essence is apparant so much within this film that it is hard not to draw comparisons with the likes of 'Cape Fear'. Both feel quite disturbing to watch and involve particular scenes that are eerie and make us feel uncomfortable. His camerawork is brilliant in following through with the mystery in very subtle ways. He allows suspense to build up and at various points takes his time when revealing a new character, by involving a slow pan until we meet said. The wary way in which this is done can almost be seen as a parallel to the caution that we know is felt by our lead character. It is these subtle details that are included and just slightly add to the whole feeling of the film, that make people like Scorsese become even more credible to me.
It is quite a chilling film to witness at some points with the inclusion of violence, mental health, rats and many moments that are quite scary. However all these things feel necessary in order for the plotline to become more accessable and in order to keep the pace at a fast level of movement and intensity.
The ending, I love (but don't worry I won't spoil it for you) as it leaves us to question. Endings like this are brilliant as it forces you into a discussion about the film after the viewing. And like this film, the more you reflect upon it, the more you realise how good it truely is. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who can appreciate complex storylines and enjoys a good thriller. My expectations that were already high, soared even higher after I had viewed this, I feel I can say with great pleasure it is a very comendable film. Great actors. Great director. Great soundtrack. Great editing. Go see for yourself.