Sunday, 14 March 2010

Film Review: SHUTTER ISLAND (2010)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Running time: 138 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK Release date: 12th March 2010

Watched at the cinema Sunday 14th March 2010.


I am quite a fan of the work of Martin Scorsese and as such I really wanted to enjoy this film. Unfortunately it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I try very hard not to compare any director’s work with their previous efforts, mainly because we never really know what difficulties they faced in making any particular film. So I won’t harp on about how it doesn’t compare with ‘Goodfellas’, or it’s not as good as ‘The Aviator’ or ‘The Departed’ as I feels that’s unfair, I’ll let it stand alone as a single piece of work.

It is 1953 and Teddy Daniels is a US Marshall who, along with his new partner, Chuck Aule, has been sent to Shutter Island to investigate then disappearance of one of the patients at a mental asylum there. They are met with a frosty reception and the mysterious Dr. Cawley and Dr. Naehring who seem to be hiding something. They find a clue, a note left by the escaped patient indicating a mysterious 67th patient at the facility that nobody will admit to the existence of. A storm prevents them leaving the island when the escaped patient, Dolores Chanal, mysteriously turns up out of the blue. Teddy is being increasingly troubled by flashbacks to the death of his wife in a fire several years earlier and also his experiences in World War II. Believing that there is a lot more than meets the eye, Teddy and Chuck set out to get to the bottom of things. I’ll leave my short synopsis there; don’t want to give too much away!

A beautifully well made film, I cannot fault the cinematography at all. There were one or two continuity errors I spotted, but I’ll let them slide. Really good performances from all of the major cast members, honourable mentions go to Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels, Mark Ruffalo as Chuck Aule, Ben Kingsley as Dr. Cawley, Max von Sydow as Dr. Naehring and Michelle Williams as Dolores Chanal.

The film is made in the film noir style, and as such there a lot of scenes with quite a lot of dialogue. This is fine when the dialogue moves the story along, but I found in a lot of cases, these scenes were beautifully shot, but that was it, they didn’t particularly add much else to the story. It’s not a bad film for all that, there is a really good twist at the end, it just failed to meet my expectations at the end of the day. If you love film noir then by all means go and see it, otherwise I’m afraid you may be disappointed.

My score: 6.8/10

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