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Blu-ray Movie Review: SHUTTER ISLAND (2010) Starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Thursday, 16 February 2012

My latest rental from LOVEFiLM turned up last weekend and I put off watching it for a while, probably due to the fact that there has been so much on TV lately but, more importantly I though it may be a little scary, only kidding. Shutter Island is a movie that I have wanted to see for a long time but suppose I just never got round to it. Now that
I have finally seen it the ending didn’t really shock me as I knew there was a twist in store. Will I give that twist away, well let’s see.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Sir Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Max Von Sydow

The Plot

Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) is a U.S Marshall, it’s 1954 and he and his partner Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) have been sent to Boston’s Shutter Island Ashcliffe Hospital for the criminally insane, whilst there they are to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Things on the
island are not all they seem and Daniels finds his investigation methods hampered when Dr Cawley (Kingsley) denies him access to the patients records. Daniels begins to think that he has been drawn to the island as part of a sinister plot. A hurricane then breaks out cutting off any communication with the main land causing more dangerous inmates to escape and before long Daniels begins to doubt his own sanity as the puzzling clues mount up.

The Verdict

I’ll say first off that if you are planning on watching Shutter Island then you better make sure that you clear your schedule, at 2 hours 20 minutes it's a bit of a haul and requires all of your concentration, especially if you want to pick up all the little clues it throws you pretty much right from the beginning. It's one of those that straight off I really didn't enjoy to much but looking back and thinking of everything about the movie you realise how brilliantly crafted it was.

It's a thriller sitting on the fence of horror that will leave you with a lot of questions. Shutter Island is a movie that I think would be best to watch more than once, during the first viewing you are so engrossed in what DiCaprio's character is investigating that you forget to watch what is actually going on, I don't want to give to much away but lets just say that on the second viewing you will force yourself to watch the movie from a different angle altogether.

As far as the acting goes well, it goes without saying really. I thought DiCaprio was amazing in Inception and like I said there you can see why so many big directors and producers want to work with him. Sir Ben Kingsley speaks for himself and in Shutter Island along with Max Von Sydow the pair prove a more than admirable match for DiCaprio. I really didn't know to much about Sydow before seeing this, I've no doubt that I have seen him before but jut don't know where, along with Kinsgley the pair play a blinder as the seemingly shifty unconventional Doctor's.

Shutter Island is a must see movie, that will leave you thinking, what just happened? Accompanied on the Blu-ray disc are two of the best movie extras I have seen which provide a real insight into the story (keep reading for those). If you are looking for a movie which does not require much effort then Shutter Island probably won't impress you to much, otherwise strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

Sound and Colour

Pretty amazing as you would expect, the dark scenes definitely have added intensity with their dull lighting and creepy characters. The sound was brilliant with the stand out moment for me being the initial approach to the Island, what appears to be fog horns turns into a blistering sound track.

Blu-ray Special Features

Behind The Shutters - Don't watch this until you have seen the movie as it gives the plot away.

At nearly 17 minutes long Behind The Shutters is one of the most insightful movie extras I have seen, not that I watch many, only on Blu-ray for the sake of these reviews. I loved watching this, very interesting especially hearing from the author of the book, his take on the movie and the actors involved but also to see how respectful DiCaprio was of the author, the ideas he had for the character of Teddy but didn't want to commit to in case that was not what the writer wanted for the character.

very clever the way the author of the book explained how he sneaked in the first clew that Teddy was not as he seemed when Ruffalo could not unstrap his gun, then the nurse's who were giving him cocky answers during their de-briefing of the escaped patient.

Into The Lighthouse - Again, don't watch this if you haven't seen the movie otherwise you will spoil the ending.

I'm really not one for extras but Into The Lighthouse and Behind The Shutters are probably the best I have seen up to now, this wasn't quite as good as the last but I still found it interesting. As it suggests this is a look into the character of Teddy and his visit to the lighthouse, but before we go there it runs through the sequence of his personal problems, or demons which have put him where he is. The feature explores the avenues of mental illness that someone would be in and there is an interview with a real psychologist who worked on the movie. It also takes a look at the location at which the movie was shot.

I wasn't crazy about the movie but, it is interesting what you find out about afterwards when you watch the extras, and I have to say that on seeing these scenes it helped me understand a little better as to what the movie was about and the idea behind it.

The Music

It was brilliant, I'm no lover of classical music but that opening sequence on the boat when they were travelling to Shutter Island, the music makes that scene just like in DiCaprio's previous movie Inception the music score was exceptional and really added to the intensity of the movie, and I say that even when I didn't enjoy the movie so much.

Would I watch it again?

I think I would actually, I may not have enjoyed it as much as Inception but I think it's one of those that watching a second time you will figure a lot more out.

Rating: MMM
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