#192: Shutter Island (2010)

When and how did I watch this?

November 9th and 10th, 2015, on a friend’s Plex account.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Martin Scorsese likes two actors in particular: Robert De Niro and Leo DiCaprio.  The former duo was a constant Oscar nominee machine.  The latter is beginning to develop into the same.  I was sure I was in for a treat.

What do I know about it now?

This film kicked me around and really played me a fool.  I was concerned the complexity of it would kind of run away from the story, but everything sort of tied in at the end.  Kingsley’s explanation coupled with DiCaprio’s reactions were a bit forced in the lighthouse, I felt, but fortunately two brilliant actors offset the dramatic summary/twist scene. Apart from this mini-stumble, I was not surprised by how gripping this film was. The dreams felt exactly like they do in reality: surreal, yet describing our concerns with an accuracy that overwhelms us, sometimes long after we wake up. The dreams manage to tell a story yet contain some of the most terrifying images in the whole film. Meanwhile, the “real” action was no less frightening at times, and we’re convinced all along that what’s happening is exactly as we see it through the protagonist’s eyes all the way until the bitter end.

What are some themes in the film?

Selective forgetting, surrealism, a little bit of PTSD, psychiatric therapy

Did this affect me personally?

Yes; the dream where blood poured from his wife’s abdomen struck me — the coloring was perfect, and the overall scene haunted me.

Why is this ranked #192?

There are countless DiCaprio fanboys that would love to see this guy win an Oscar.  While I agree with said fanboys, I would guess the ranking is bolstered by that notion. It’s also a psych thriller, clearly an IMDb Top 250 genre of choice.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She enjoyed it, but was shaking doubly so at the tensest scenes.

Would I watch it again?

Yes, perhaps to catch the subtle clues about the truth of Teddy’s visions and sub-reality.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yeah, this is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I believe so.  In retrospect, I could see that some of it was a little clumsy, but everything else about it really worked together.  The pace was perfect, and I was engaged from beginning to end.  This is among the better films DiCaprio has starred in that I’ve seen, and there are a handful more to go further up the list.  I hope I’m not disappointed.

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