Director: Martin Scorsese Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsle, Max Von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas USA. 2h 18m
Scorsese is a legendary director but more often I find I can work out his films from the get go and this one I called in the intro and then didn’t enjoy a single second of the movie because for me it was so clear what was going on. But in hindsight I can see the appeal for anyone who didn’t clique what was going on, it must have been gripping and playing on all of their emotions.
After ruining the movie for myself I gave it a few years until I tried again. At this point I thought I’d go through the motions, but seconds into the movie that dreaded feeling came back, and I knew exactly how this movie was going to play out and for some reason it wasn’t even a matter of enjoying the movie play out, but it just felt like I’d seen it all before. Obviously the movie has been influential over a number of second rate imitations and little bits re created here and there, all of this “second hand media melds into into one big de ja vu comedy moment, which is a problem for big successful projects like this. With the Simpsons, Family Guy, and a number of comedy sketches and stand up artist mimicking scenes, the memes will then begin, in and this is the first step of a movie being lost to to mass cultural memory.
Leonardo Di Caprio gives an intense performance as an eagle eye detective, searching for a missing asylum patient, however with the facility, located on a remote island And boasting maximum security, somehow no one can find the woman, but how can that be? There are lots of similarly obscure questions that get raised as the feted detective rages around desperately searching with his cool partner Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) following his lead.
“You’re not investigating anything, You’re a fucking rat in a maze. “
This was supposed to be Scorsese’s experimental B Movie effort, doesn’t tick a single B Movie box, a consulted film noir tikes police investigation that runs for 2 hours doesn’t rub shoulders with anything on the indie scene. The incredible movie techniques and Scorsese incredible ability to create stella Blockbuster took over the project. Having an almost unlimited budget doesn’t give credence to what indie directors have to face. But there’s no denying that he’s made an attractive looking movie based on the Thriller from Dennis Lehane who Is the author of of other books translated the film like Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone
The setting is a 1950’s America, where US Army personnel are attempting to fit into normal life, such as US Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCap) who passes the movie in perpetual spiritual pain. It’s clear that he’s seen his fair share of horrors but he’s never had to face them straight on like this. But somehow the shadowy staff start to work their magic on the detective who begins to feel as if he’s under scrutiny. Ben Kingsley plays the ever emotionless and aloof pipe smoking Dr. John Cawley. He comes across as a man who’s barely in charge of the facility, one of his leading members of staff, Dr. Jeremiah Naehring, Max von Sydow, who’s Germanness annoysTeddy to no end and brings up all of his terrible war memories, yet Naehring just cracks those wry smiles as he dismantles each of Teddy’s arguments.
With a troubled past, his war record and the death of his wife, Teddy begins to struggle through this duties, initially he’s made unwell by the choppy waters as he heads to the foreboding Shutter Island (a former prison, turned into a maximum security facility for the criminally insane) and his constant fear of watery environments begins to dominate his persona. He’s pushed by his duties but driven by the desire that his wife’s killer might be locked away inside the facility also, so he has a lot of personal sleuthing to do in between his main case as he breaks from character and begins probing into areas that are clearly off limits and finding more than his psyche can deal with.
It’s hard to see the movie as anything other than a pulpy melodrama, it’s well acted and you can’t fault Scorsese direction in its application, but when he decides that he’s run with the policy story enough, he attempts to hammer the twist in the plot home like he’s hitting a home run.
Related: Cure for Wellness (2016), Madhouse (2002), Ninth Configuration (1980)
Lists: Asylum Movies
Spotlight: Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ted Levine, Max Von Sydow