Feb 212010
Authors: Laura James

With the name Martin Scorsese, it’s hard not to perk up the ears a bit. Known for his amazing directorial abilities, Scorsese has made some seriously great films throughout his career.

However his latest flick, “Shutter Island,” is a departure from his forte.

Leonardo DiCaprio, seemingly Scorsese’s favorite actor, stars in the film as U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels. The duo have paired up before to create some of their more heralded films, including “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator” and “The Departed.”

DiCaprio’s performance in “Shutter Island,” however, is not equal to his previous acting endeavors with Scorsese. But the role is fundamentally different.

In “Shutter Island” DiCaprio’s struggles focus more on the mental aspect of the character as opposed to physical or emotional roles like in “The Departed.”

Daniels has been sent to Shutter Island, a remote mental institution for dangerous offenders, to find an escaped prisoner. The story, advertised heavily as a scarier film, is more psychologically suspenseful than it is scary.

Reality is twisted and things are made unsure on this secretive island on which Daniels seems to be trapped. Daniels’s partner, played by Mark Ruffalo, is also suspect in a thriller where paranoia runs high.

DiCaprio’s role is one in which he transforms from confident to confused and from strong to feeble in his attempts to unravel the mystery of Shutter Island.
Although Scorsese is known more for gangster movies, his enthusiasm for making good quality movies is evident in this film of twists and turns.

The ensemble performed well together with screen veterans, like Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow, and more contemporary actors, like Michelle Williams and Jackie Earle Haley.

“Shutter Island” is definitely worth seeing in theaters, especially if you’re a fan of DiCaprio, Ruffalo or Scorsese. But don’t be expecting a gangster film; “Shutter Island” is a different experience altogether.

Movie reviewer Laura James can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 12:58 pm

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