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Movie Review: Shutter Island

February 20, 2010

Scorsese teams with DiCaprio again in this  asylum mystery. Not everything is what it seems (shock!) and it doesn’t take long for hallucinations to start (double shock!).

Face it, the asylum mystery has been done to death.  Same old same old, right?  Wrong.  Well, a little right and wrong.  It’s hard to go all wrong with brilliant acting (DiCaprio will get an Oscar nod for this, and may win), brilliant dialogue, multi-layered yet seamless plot lines, and phenomenal cinematography.

Some of it gets a little heavy handed sometimes, I’ll admit.  Parts of the soundtrack were flashbacks to Kubrick and the main scene with the warden seemed a little off kilter, but all in all it was a brilliant film.  Make that brilliant and deeply disturbing.  Bad stuff has gone down that comes back to like in the flashbacks.  There was a mother with a ten-year-old kid there; she should be flogged for it.  I’ll have that kid in class one day and he will be too warped to learn math because he has too much Scor-psycho in his head.  But I digress…

This film is not for the faint of heart.  It’s one of those films you watch and say “that was brilliant,” then never watch it again because you just don’t want to go back down that dark road.  Every horror writer should watch it.  Suspense writers, too.  It’s dark; it’s disturbing; it’s excellent.

Now I’m going to bed with the nightlight on.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2010 2:20 pm

    I don’t know.

    I thought there were plot holes in it. It was all summed up by a dirty little catch all *[edited by blogger to avoid spoilers]* clause. The ending made no sense because the guy (you know who I’m talking about) would have stopped him from going at the end when he gave away the truth. Decaprio can act amazingly, I’ll give you that.

    Honestly, it violates the big rule since it’s been done to death. And I think you know which big rule I’m talking about. At the end they were just explaining away all their deficiencies with catch all dialogue. I felt cheated when it came out the way it did. I kept expecting the *real* truth to come out, that would have made a movie. Even with the catch all dialogue there were things that didn’t make sense if you look hard enough.

    There were lots of unexplained flashbacks early on that didn’t make sense for quite awhile and made me sit there like, why is this even in there? It really pulled me out of the movie. I also was expecting something different and kept waiting for it to turn into a thriller.

    I don’t know about this one.

    • osomuerte permalink
      February 20, 2010 10:14 pm

      Some of the subtle beauty of the movie was in those bizarre early flashbacks. The out-of-place imagery when he first imagined his wife; the disastrously rehearsed answers some people gave. A little extra effort was put into making it seem like “that” was going on (the cigarettes, etc.) and I confess, the big summation scene stepped on the “show-not-tell” rule, but the subsequent flashback was brilliant. And DiCaprio’s last line…made the whole movie

      I have been as simultaneously cryptic and clear as possible to avoid spoilers but state my position. Brilliant. If I ever watch it again, it will only be for some story construction research. It was a very heavy movie.

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