Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

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.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of...

More by Robert Ignizio

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Calendar

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation