***Spoiler Alert: the twist in the story is discussed throughout***
After watching the preview for this movie, I figured Leonardo’s character would be the 67th patient. I almost did not see the movie because I expected that to happen, and didn’t figure the end of the movie would surprise me. Well, I am glad I decided to see the movie after all. There were plenty of things about this movie that surprised me.
The movie was set in 1954, where Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) went to Shutter Island to investigate the escape of a patient at the hospital/prison for the criminally insane. It appeared as if they were not welcome there because both the staff and patients were not making their investigation very easy. Also not helping was a hurricane that eventually hit the island. Fighting the obstacles, Teddy pushed on, discovering clues here and there. As he gathered these clues, we find out that there was a whole lot more to this investigation than originally thought.
Again, there was no surprise that he was patient 67, but I was surprised with why he was the 67th patient. The whole movie turned out to be one last attempt to cure him, which was why there were so many things that just did not seem right. There was something weird going on from the beginning of the movie. It started off on a ferryboat with Teddy in the bathroom throwing up with seasickness. He came out and introduced himself to his new partner. That was weird because they were the only ones on the ferry (besides the crew), and had already been on the ferry for a while. As U.S. Marshals, you would think they would have been introduced before a mission, or at least when they got on the ferry. After everything that happened, I thought that turned out to be a good place to start the movie, and the charade.
Not long after that, there was the whole thing when the warden told them they could not take their guns into the facility. Thinking about it now, Teddy should have known he couldn’t take his gun in there if he was in his right mind. Instead he argued with the warden, even as the warden recited the code that prohibited them from bringing the guns in there. What was funny about the scene was that his partner couldn’t unclip his gun from his pants. After finding out that his partner was really his doctor, it made sense that he couldn’t unclip his gun, and that he really had no clue about what a marshal could do. This was a good example of how some people on the island played along with the story better than others.
I also felt that there was something wrong with the characters in his imagination. They did not match up. Take the little girl for example. In Teddy’s imaginary world, she was the missing patient’s daughter, but in the reality, the girl was his daughter. He seemed to have more of a connection to her in the dream than just a marshal imagining all of this. Speaking of his imagination, it was crazy when he was holding Rachael in his arms, and then she turned to ashes. He really had a vivid imagination.
After a dramatic and somewhat suspenseful trip, I was surprised at how depressing and disturbing this movie ended. He came home to find his wife staring out at the lake, where his children lied dead in the water. It just tugged on your emotions to watch him jump in the lake, and pull all three kids out at one time. Then he had them lying side-by-side in the grass as he cried over them. I am not a father, but I can’t imagine anything much worse than that. Oh wait, then he decided to shoot his crazy wife, and then watch her die in his arms. No wonder the guy went nuts. Who could blame him? To make it even more depressing, and to add a final twist, Teddy sealed his fate by pretending that this whole adventure did not cure him. He decided to go down in honor, than live with the demons of his past. Again, who could blame the poor guy?
This movie was a refreshing change from a lot of the modern horror movies we see this day. It kind of took things back to the days of Hitchcock. There was that mystery through out the movie, with a great deal of odd things happening. You got the feeling that something was not right, but what was it? The cinematography was really well done, especially his dreams. And while I have never liked Leonardo, I have to say he did a very good job. I should also give credit to Martin Scorsese for a job well done.
As usual, I found something that bothered me. Actually, it was one thing that annoyed me through out the movie, and I mean through out. It was the music. The duh duh duh duh that they played over and over again. It was annoying in the opening scene alone. Through out the ferry ride, them getting off the boat, the drive to the facility, and their entrance into it. They played that music again and again, and it was distracting me from what was going on. I understand it was part of the feel and style of the movie, but it could not be more annoying.
Also, being a little picky, I have to point out what a wonderful rock climber Teddy was. He scaled up and down that cliff with minimal problems. It was pretty impressive for someone who was crazy. I guess you had to be a little crazy to think you could make it down, and then back up that cliff. At least he got some questions answered after going through all that trouble.
In the end, I am glad I saw this movie. To me, this movie was all about the twist within the twist, and it did not disappoint. After finding out what was really going on, you could see why all those weird things were happening: the odd meeting of partners on the ferry, the talk with the warden, and Teddy’s wild imagination. It all ended more depressing than I even thought this movie would end. The Hitchcock feel to the movie, along with the well-done scenes and good acting, made it an enjoyable movie to watch. Except of course, for that music they insisted on playing. I give this movie 3.5 pools of blood.