Friday 10 June 2011

Devouring Films: Shutter Island

This is one of those things where I pretend I'm going to write a review, but actually I just go 'omg it's amazing!' and then tell you to watch it immediately. In this case, though, you're absolutely going to appreciate this, because this is one film where you desperately don't want to know what's going to happen because it is honestly one of the most intriguing and exciting films I've seen, with what has to be one of the biggest twists in film history too. So really, don't worry about reading the rest of this review, just go and watch the film! Then none of us have to worry about spoliers at all.

Oh, you're still here? Ok, well, I'll try and tell you something about the film, just hardly anything. So, obviously it's worth seeing just because Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo are in it (it's a partnership that is, there's no denying it, very pleasing to the eye), but if you also look for a film to be totally engaging, to take you down a really complex and massively twisting plot and to wholly surprise you at every twist, then you won't be able to resist Shutter Island. I didn't think I was that sort of person (I really love films with a lot of interesting dialogue and every day kinds of drama, that everyone else seems to find boring for some reason!) but Shutter Island was really something else- it seems that I need to consider films as a source of escapism more seriously than I have done before. Or maybe I just like their hats.

The basic premise of Shutter Island is that Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aules (Ruffalo) are detectives who are going to investigate  the (improbable) disappearance of a patient on the notorious Shutter Island, an island that houses a mental hospital for the criminally insane. When they get there, however, Teddy realises the improbability of this patient having escaped, and starts believing that they have brought him there under false pretences, as part of some horrendous illegal experiment programme that he believes they have happening. Intertwined with this is residual grief over the death of his wife, and his belief that her killer now resides within Shutter Island- Daniels wants to kill this man himself, without any thought to the consequences of such an action. All of this culminates to a climax that is at once surprising and utterly exhilirating, and you might not be able to control yourself when you see it either, and might just have to write a really bad blog post about it too!

What I loved best about Shutter Island is the way it really never let you stop guessing- There were two ways I thought it could go, and it turned out to go one of those ways but in completely different way to the one I was thinking. How annoyingly vague was that description?! But anyway, I'm sure that trying to unravel the mysteries of Shutter Island is something that you can enjoy about the film too! I also really loved the fact that, once I did know the ins and outs of the story, I almost immediately wanted to watch it again, to find all the hidden clues that I already knew I had missed the first time around. Even now (and I watched the film weeks ago now) I can just be going about my daily activities and suddenly realise something about Shutter Island- that's how deeply it seeps into your mind!

So that's my ode to Shutter Island. I truly did love this movie, and anyone who says they didn't has got to be lying. It'll keep you entertained for a good couple of hours, and give your brain a nice little workout while it's at it. If we're comparing (recent) DiCaprio films, I'm going to say that Inception is ever so slightly better, but that film actually blew my mind wide open so this being a very close second is a really really good thing! So yes, go see it, and then come back and read my review again for the things you might have missed....


  1. I watched this movie with my husband months ago but fell asleep towards the end. I was really bummed because I was enjoying the movie a lot, but now I am thinking I want to read the book first before I watch the movie in its entirety.

  2. I watched the movie and read the book. I thought both were amazing!

  3. I enoyed this movie but it was tainted by my awful experience at the cinema when I went to see it. I'm definitely overdue for a rewatch in the comfort of my own home and well away from annoying cinema patrons!