Shutter Island delivers the thrills with enough twists and turns to start doubting yourself. The director plays with the mind of the audience, as much as he tries to delve deep into the minds of the protagonist, Leonardo DiCaprio.
The movie starts on a dark note with overcast skies when US Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo) and his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are dropped at an island which houses Ashcliffe Hospital, a place for the most dangerous criminals...read cruel, violent, insane minds. Deputy Warden McPherson (John Carroll Lynch) and his team receives them and the fear is written all over their face. It's revealed, that an inmate is missing. Looks quite simple, only thing is...it isn't. The investigator is drawn into the scheme of things before he realizes, that there are things beyond his knowledge and control.
With each passing moment, it seems, that instead of Marshall Daniels chasing the case, the case seems to be centered around him and his past plays a critical role in the movie. His experiences with the Nazis in Germany during the War, as well as his traumatic experience with the death of his wife and children all surface in the hours he spends at the mental hospital. While the needle of suspicion is pointing towards the head of the Institution, Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and his zealous attempt to give the Institution a more prestigious halo, than what Teddy would like to believe. Set in 1954, the movie is also rife with lot of rumours and shrouds of conspiracy theories doing rounds about the A-bomb, use of psychotropic drugs, ethical treatment of patients, etc.
A hurricane cuts off the island from the mainland, when the movie reaches its climax and all the action is now centered around whether Marshall Daniels will resolve the mystery or get irreversibly tangled into the mystery, himself. There seems to be a sinister plot underneath the surface supported by the nature's fury to prevent him from solving the case. The end is as intriguing (in absence of a better word) as the movie itself.
Great direction, cinematography and superb performance by all the lead actors and haunting background score makes Shutter Island a treat for good movie lovers. This once again proves, that a good story makes a great movie. Though, I haven't read the book of same name, by Dennis Lehane (also Mystic River), on which the movie is based...but, it surely must be one gripping tale.
After watching the movie twice in two days, I felt, that Scorsese had equal fun in playing with the mind of the audience, in anticipating audience reaction and gasps as if they are all trapped in the Ashecliffe Hospital along with Marshall Teddy and his partner, while he was trying to play with the minds of the protagonist and the case he was trying to solve.