[Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley]
My fans are disappointed in me. Some look to me for all of my 'sage' advice on the latest movie fares. I went to the theater on Saturday but never managed to write up my review. Was I pulled away on more important matters? Maybe, but "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" claims many lives once you touch down in it.
SYNOPSIS: Federal marshal Teddy Daniels is called to Boston Harbor Shutter Island to investigate the escape of one of their patients. As the investigation deepens, so do the hints of conspiracy.
Martin Scoreses has directed staples of cinematic excellence throughout his career, "Raging Bull", "Taxi Driver", "Gangs of New York". Going in a more suspenseful and mysterious direction, Scoreses tackles Dennis Lehane's novel. Part art house, part noir, you are not really sure what is real and what is a trick of the light. Set in 1954 on one of the Boston Harbor Islands, the opening shot of the ferry coming out of the thick, rolling fog sets the stage for the rest of the film.
As Leonardo DiCaprio's Teddy Daniels is drawn to the hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island with his new partner Chuck Aule, he is more and more convinced that the disappearance of one of the patients is not as simple as her escaping. The nurses and orderlies provide no good reason as to how the patient, Rachel, could have left her locked room. The armed guards and warden cannot locate her on the island with its sheer cliffs and only access off via a ferry controlled by the institution. Ben Kingsley's Dr Cawley is so cool and detached about his missing ward, that Daniels suspects him of having ulterior and rather sinister motives.
It is rather difficult to speak of this film without giving much away. Needless to say, there are other forces at work on the island in the film. Who is at the center of this plot? The government? The institution? The inmates? You will have to see the movie to know.
Remember the description of the opening shot of the film with the ferry emerging from the rolling harbor fog? For most of the film we center around Daniels and his singular pursuit of both the truth and revenge, his understanding of the situation as gray and blinding as the mist. With flashback to his WWII grisly discovery of a concentration camp and the lost of his wife to an apartment arsonist, we are kept just as off-balance as Teddy. But in the end, the sun burns away the fog, and we are left with the truth.
Is the truth worth it? Scoreses helms a solid film, but the truth is that this will not be one of his masterworks.