i really wasn’t interested in watching SHUTTER ISLAND from the trailers and the posters that i saw. but then i went and saw INCEPTION, and i thought maybe the other leonardo di caprio movie would be okay to watch too.
i wasn’t wrong, but neither was i right.
as you might have probably noticed, from the very sparse movie reviews i’ve had so far, that i’m not a big movie-goer. i like watching movies, but i usually wait for home video releases, and even then, i wait a while. so choosing to watch SHUTTER ISLAND, and actively looking for a copy of the movie means i really wanted to watch the movie. so what happened between not-wanting-to, to actively-looking-for-a-copy? well, the story happened.
contrary to what the first paragraph might lead you to believe, i didn’t google SHUTTER ISLAND. i stumbled upon it. on a bookstore.
i was actually looking for a copy of SCOTT PILGRIM at the graphic novel section of FULLY BOOKED when i found a graphic novel version of SHUTTER ISLAND. intrigued, i looked at the synopsis, expecting to read that it’s a graphic-novelization of the movie. it wasn’t. it was the graphic-novelization of the book by dennis lehane. and the darkness of the premise drew me in.
and so i started looking for a copy of both the book and the movie. i found the book first, but i’m just about to start reading it. i have already seen the movie though. i prefer to do it in that order, so i don’t get disappointed by the movie.
it turns out, i was still disappointed.
maybe it was the accent? i don’t know. someone online commented that leonardo di caprio’s bostonian accent wasn’t believable. well, i didn’t know what a bostonian accent sounded like, so i figured i wouldn’t notice if it was believable or not. well, it didn’t matter. if it weren’t for the subtitles, i wouldn’t have understood half the things he said. if that’s what happens when they try to stay true to character, when they try to internalize a character, i would rather suspend my disbelief.
besides, the boston-part didn’t really matter in the end anyway. the character of edward “teddy” daniels, played by leonardo di caprio, would’ve worked regardless of where he came from.
anyway, here’s the backgrounder of the movie: teddy daniels comes to shutter island with his partner to search for a missing female patient. shutter island is a holding facility for the criminally insane, a heavily-guarded, heavily-fortified holding facility. and once teddy daniels arrive at the island, it’s clear that there’s no fear of a prison break. so if rachel solandro, the missing female patient, made a break for it, there’s no way she would escape. alive.
then again, marshall daniels doesn’t seem to be that worried about the missing rachel solandro. while he seems to know that the woman is still around the island, and alive, he seems to be more interested in finding a different patient: andrew laeddis. we find out that he blames this other patient for the death of his wife, dolores chanal.
and this is where it gets confusing.
so you have thread a, which isn’t the main plot point, where daniels is looking for solandro. and then you have thread b, where he is looking for laeddis. and then we get introduced to thread c, where out of nowhere, daniels suddenly tells his partner that he found out from an inmate who was released from shutter island before that they do bad things in the facility. and what he really wants to do is find enough evidence to have it shut down.
it all connects to each other in the end, and that makes the whole mindf*ck worth it in the end. but prior to the big reveal, prepare to have your head hurt as they explore the different threads that make up the tapestry of the story.
so why do i say i was still disappointed in the movie? well, aside from the awful accent, we also keep getting jarred by these gory war images that, i feel, wasn’t really that important in the movie. maybe it gets explored more in the book, but i didn’t get most of the war scenes they showed in the movie. what was the point?
overall though, i would still recommend SHUTTER ISLAND to someone, if there was absolutely nothing else to watch. or, you know, if the only other choice was SHARKTOPUS or PIRANHA 3D.