Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Guilt and redemption intertwined in Shutter Island

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:00 AM

shutter_trailer-park.jpg
With Shutter Island, director Martin Scorcese has made a spectacular return to the suspense-thriller genre he last tackled with 1991’s Cape Fear. Both films veer close to horror territory at times, but while Cape Fear traded in more visceral shocks, Shutter Island is psychological and atmospheric. Scorcese’s usual themes of guilt and redemption lend weight to the story, and there’s plenty of symbolism to explore. The film centers on U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DeCaprio) is a man haunted by his past. As a soldier, he witnessed firsthand the horrors of the Dachau concentration camp. Then, after returning home from the war, he lost his wife (Michelle Williams) in a fire. Along with his new partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), Teddy has been sent to investigate the disappearance of an inmate from Shutter Island, a foreboding hospital for the criminally insane. That anyone could have escaped seems impossible. Even stranger, the marshals find their investigation blocked at every turn by the very people who asked for their help, head doctors Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Naehring (Max Von Sydow). It soon becomes apparent that the missing patient is just one piece of a much larger puzzle. DiCaprio is excellent as a man struggling to keep the horrors in his mind at bay while doing his job. Ruffalo’s performance helps balance DeCaprio’s darkness, bringing just the right amount of humor and humanity to the film. Every supporting role has also been cast for maximum impact, from the grotesque inmates played by Jackie Earle Haley and Elias Koteas to Von Sydow and Kingsley’s slyly sinister doctors. The location becomes almost another character itself, with Shutter Island earning a place alongside iconic buildings such as the Overlook Hotel from Kubrick’s The Shining and Hill House from Robert Wise’s The Haunting. ****

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of...

More by Robert Ignizio

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation