Saturday, March 13, 2010

SHUTTER ISLAND: Scorsese has created a superior psychological thriller

The supporting cast is uniformly excellent, especially Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach in The Watchmen) as a disturbed fellow patient and Max Von Sydow as a sinister psychiatrist. Ben Kingsley does especially well as an ambiguous character, the apparently well-meaning head of the mental institution.

SHOOT: You had me at 'Scorcese' and again at 'Leonardo diCaprio'. Looking forward to seeing this.
Shutter Island - 1

Shutter Island demands that you concentrate. Though some reviewers found the film a hard slog, I found it engrossing every step of the way. Its major virtues lie in excellent performances from every member of the cast, a script that bristles with tension, and of course, Scorsese’s skilful direction.

Scorsese was never as over-indebted to Hitchcock as his contemporary, Brian de Palma, but in Shutter Island he makes Hitchcock’s language his own. Many shots in the film directly reference Hitchcock in ways that lesser directors simply wouldn’t get away with.

Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio dig deep into Shutter Island's secrets
Scorsese occasionally lays the ominous music on a little too thickly. The island and its Ashecliff Hospital for the criminally insane take a starring role in the film. The hurricane-lashed, mist-shrouded Shutter Island, the dimly lit interiors of Ashecliffe, and the dramatic cliffs of the island are all conjured up with evocative cinematography.
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