Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shutter Island --- B+

I started a new job and haven't had a lot of time to post stuff that I have wanted to talk about. So I begin my first post of 2010 with a review of Martin Scorcese's latest.

First, Scorcese is a master of angles, perspective, lighting, mood, and music. That said this film does not come close to a classic like Taxi Driver. Does that mean it's not an enjoyable movie? Not at all. In fact, I have the notion that this film will be better with a repeated viewing or two.

Shutter Island starts out with Leonardo DiCaprio telling himself "to get himself together". He is seasick from a ferry ride leaving Boston for a sanitarium off the coast; hence, the title.

DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo play U.S. federal marshals investigating a missing person's case on the island. The tension starts immediately when the marshals arrive. The sanitarium guards are armed and look very menacing. The two Marshals are told that they must surrender their firearms before they can proceed inside with their investigation.

From there on the game begins with secrets behind every corner and everyone on the island acting suspiciously. As I said Scorcese does a fabulous job setting things up; but, he can't overcome the script which has an overly familiar theme of late. That is about all I can say without giving away some plot details which are more fun to watch if you don't know anything.

The cast is stellar and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with DiCaprio's performance. I did not think he could pull this role off and make it believable but I never felt like he was out of place.