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Jan 14, 2012

Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a little late for me, Memento, Requiem for a Dream, Mulholland Drive, Inception and a handful other movies whose names I don’t remember have already taken the viewers down the path of alternate realities played out inside character’s heads. If you are the analyzing type, this is one movie whose real meaning you can dissect to death after multiple viewings.

Dennis Lehane is one of my favorite writers of casual fiction. I loved his Mystic River and remember eagerly waiting for the film version when I heard Clint Eastwood was directing it. I have not read this work of his – Shutter Island but if Mystic River (the book) is anything to go by Shutter Island the movie has been glammed up a bit into a Hollywood script under Martin Scorcese. Of course when a movie is set in or before 1950s, the leading man can be no one else but Leanardo Di Caprio, the real Benjamin Button of Hollywood who is perpetually stuck in a screen time somewhere between the Great Depression(‘30s) and the Great Prosperity(‘50s)

This time he is stuck for real in an island penitentiary/mental asylum called Shutter Island as US Marshal Teddy Daniels investigating a mysterious disappearance of a female inmate. That is just the start. Things get murkier and stormier as the film progresses. But somehow from the very beginning I had the feeling that Mark Ruffalo was acting. Another reason to doubt the story was, did Scorsese have the guts to cast Ben Kingsley, the man who played Gandhi, in a negative role?

All that said, Shutter Island has an interesting story, the director has delivered it as a tight almost waterproof package, although the movie's predominant element is water. There are metaphors, allegories and symbols placed through out the movie left for audience's interpretation including the famous last line that Di Caprio's character utters at the end of the movie, throwing a monkey wrench into the already confused machinery of audience's mind.