Martin Scorsese knows something about surprise endings which twist meisters like M. Night Shyamalan seem to have forgotten. The twist doesn’t matter if you haven’t already told a good story. By the time Shutter Island gets to its twist, it has already told such a tale. You’re invested in these characters and no matter how it turns out you’re going to walk away happy. The twist, when it happens, only serves to make a deeper connection. It makes sense of the madness, brings order to the chaos, and then rips your heart out right through your chest. The movie exists not in service of the twist, rather the twist exists in service of the movie. For now I can only tell you about the story I thought I was watching and let you discover that other story for yourself in theaters. Leonardo DiCaprio
plays US Marshal Teddy Daniels, sent to investigate an escape at a remote island mental facility. Ashecliffe is a maximum security insane asylum where the nation’s most violent, dangerous, and often hopeless cases are sent. He arrives on the ferry with his new partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) and, though still suffering the ill-effects of seasickness, immediately gets to work looking for the lost prisoner. Daniels may, however, be interested in more than just a lost prisoner and haunted by the memories of a past tragedy he stalks Ashecliffe’s grounds, fighting his way through an uncooperative staff, looking for answers.
But is the staff really uncooperative? Ben Kingsley is sympathetic and kind as Ashecliffe’s head Dr. Cawley. He smiles and comforts even as Teddy’s investigation starts to point to something darker and more mysterious. Kingsley is just one of Shutter Island’s captivating contradictions in a world where everything seems lost in shades of foggy gray.
Maybe it’s not a man who’s the real danger. At times it seems as though nature itself is against Teddy. The island is almost permanently shrouded in an ominous, concealing mist. The hospital...
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