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Shutter Island

Shutter Island lives up to high expectations

The trouble with reviewing a Scorsese film is that anything which falls short of the standards he has previously set is deemed a failure. Shutter Island, however, has no such problem.

The horror junkies among us expecting a gore and screamed filled experience, as the previews suggested, will be slightly let down but certainly not disappointed. Scorsese delivers an enigmatic, psychological thriller which examines the blurred lines between madness and reality, which envelopes the audience right through to the final credits.

The time is 1954. The place is Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, located off Boston Harbor on a remote island that’s locked as tight as Alcatraz. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), are ferried in to track down Rachel Salando, an escaped patient admitted for murdering her own children.

Here they are introduced to head psychiatrist Dr Cawley, played by Ben Kingsley with the perfect blend of manners and menace. With a class 5 hurricane brewing and their investigation being blocked at every turn, Teddy and Chuck uncover far more questions than answers.

DiCaprio shows his continuing maturity as an actor in his most haunting role to date, delivering a perfect performance as his character struggles to retain sanity throughout the many twists in this unnerving tale.

Cinema is in Scorsese’s blood and his use of narrow shots and appropriate shading perfectly projects the sense of claustrophobia upon the audience, in keeping with the overall theme of the story.
A terrifically tense score by Robbie Robertson along with excellent application of nervy silence seizes the audience in a vice grips of suspense.

This mesmeric mind-bender drains the audience with limitless twists and an eerie presence throughout. Definitely not one to miss.

5/5

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