When it comes down to Leonardo DiCaprio, I don’t know if I would ever personally say he is my favorite actor, or that he is one of the best actors around. What I can say, and will say, is that the man can clearly pick a movie. It is without a doubt that the main is incredibly intelligent when it comes down to picking unbelievably memorable and astonishingly great films. Among the list is “Shutter Island”, one of the few movies that I have ever seen that made it impossible to be only seen once. It is also one of the few films that made me read the original novel immediately after watching the movie. Reading “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane is one of the very rare times I read an entire novel in one sitting. So what makes this film so great?
The story revolves around one Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), two U.S. Marshalls tasked with a very intriguing and mysterious case. On a solitary island exists a mental institution called Ashecliffe. These two marshals are called in when one of the most dangerous patients escapes from within her room, as if she vanished through the walls. The more Teddy and Chuck investigate, the deeper they seem to fall into a conspiracy of epic proportion, and it isn’t long before they too begin feeling crazy. It begins to dawn on them that maybe, just maybe, something malevolent and unethical was going on within the walls of the institution.
What’s so great about this film is not only does the film encompass the novel almost exactly, but it does a remarkable job at making the audience uncomfortable at the same time, like we are also going crazy just watching the movie. Every step the film decides to take, and every scene just gets deeper and deeper as the suspense builds on top of itself. There is never a dull moment in “Shutter Island” because the audience just wants to know what is going on as much as the marshals do.
Watching it for the first time is kind of watching “The Sixth Sense”, you will be beyond confused, but pulled in because the movie really is interesting. It’s not only interesting, but it is absolutely beautiful, each and every shot looks so good, so gripping, you will want it to end and want it to go on forever at the same time. You want it to end only to finally understand what is at the core of the conspiracy. Once you do finish it, you have to watch it again, you just have to, and once you do…you will be shocked at how many clues were constantly being thrown in your face. If you thought “The Sixth Sense” was crazy, theoretically, there was more insanity in this film. However, even though it was crazy, it still had the factor of being a little long. Because of that, it removes the rewatchability factor, but only by slightly.
Even though I stated DiCaprio isn’t the best actor in the world, I truly believe this was one of his best performances ever. That’s right, he acted miles around his performance in “Django Unchained”, that role wasn’t all that captivating to be honest, the movie was, but his role? Let’s be honest, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx took the cake there. Anyways, off-topic, he did good in this film, I was impressed. As did Mark Ruffallo, as did Ben Kingsly, as did Michelle Williams and Emily Mortimer, the list goes on. They were at a mental institution and you really do feel as if these people are exactly that, crazy!
Don’t forget, the writing in the film was also superb. There is some really great dialogue in the movie that pulls the viewer in further all on its own. It does what it is supposed to do, it makes you think, question, tap your feet with excitement. I have seen a few movies with great dialogue, and this definitely deserves to be among the list.
If you haven’t yet, check out “Shutter Island”, it’s a treat that shouldn’t be missed! Oh and by the way, I am working on my next Filmographi addition; Leonardo DiCaprio. You’ll have to wait for a bit, but it’ll be here in due time.