Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese's new film finally hits theaters today after a five month delay. The film starts out clunky but eventually evens out over the course of 2 hours and 2o minutes. At times a war movie, police procedural, and psychological thriller, it seems that "Shutter Island" has a hard time deciding what exactly what it wants to be (which may help explain its delay).

As the film develops, however, you discover that the chaotic delivery plays right into the schizophrenia that Scorsese is trying to capture. The film is tense and exciting and delivers several twists, though some are not entirely unexpected. Leo DiCaprio delivers another engaging performance, but, like many of the portrayals in the film, it wavers at times. The cast is deep but seems to feature cameo after throwaway cameo.

Overall, the production is strong, especially for a genre film (war/cop/thriller - that's a genre, right?). The film gives insight into the transition of the clashing ideologies and practices for treating mental illness, as well as the effects of WWII on returning American soldiers. The film's resolution, however, enlightens the viewer to the film's complex structure. This clarification warrants repeat viewings so as to pick up details that at first seem out of place or mundane, but upon review fill in pieces of an elaborate puzzle. See it.

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