I watched Shutter Island only on the insistence of my husband and I feel thankful that I did. It is quite an unforgettable movie and the scenes will continue to remain in my memory.
A psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese and based on the novel by Dennis Lehane , it is dark, stark, beautifully alluring and intriguing.
US Marshalls, Teddy (Edward) Daniels (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) and his partner Chuck Aule ( played by Ruffalo) are sent to the Ashecliff hospital situated on Shutter Island, which is meant for the criminally insane, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an inmate , Racheal Solondo, who was incarcerated on the grounds of murdering her children and husband. As they approach Shutter Island, the grim walls of the prison rise up to greet them against the backdrop of sheer cliffs and deadly rockfaces.
Their investigation hardly progresses due to mostly defensive and confrontational attitude of the people they interview.During this time, Teddy suddenly starts having migraine headaches and finds himself having dreams of his dead wife interspersed with heart rending scenes from Dachau concentration camp which he had witnessed post war as an allied soldier.
Teddy’s wife had been killed in a freak apartment fire and his dreams are chaotic pieces of her memories. The dream sequence showing Teddy holding his wife in his arms as she slowly turns to ashes is brilliantly shot and comes close to real dreams wherein reality merges with imagination.
Teddy confides in Chuck his real reasons of coming to Shutter Island which was to find the arsonist who killed his wife, Andrew Laedis and to investigate the actual goings on Shutter Island where purportedly secret inhuman experiments were carried out on the inmates.
As Teddy embarks on his investigations, strange events unfold which lead Teddy and the viewers down a path which is both shocking and absorbing.
The film has breathtaking cinematography and uses fantastic backlighting though the overall picturization is dark and bleak.The viewer looks at the movie through the perspective provided to him and its unsettling to find that the perspective can be flawed or prejudiced. When the balance is slightly tilted, a human being totters on the edge of insanity. Do moments of insanity make you insane or would every lapse of rational judgment or the blind spots of prejudices construe insanity? I pondered on the sobering fact that so many of us ‘sane’ people might actually be ‘insane’ walking this earth.