Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Shutter Island Experience

G’day ramblers. How’s things?

Last night I managed to score tickets to see Shutter Island at an advanced screening. I have to tell you about it. It was so great! I had two tickets so I took my sister. She enjoyed it too, so it wasn’t just me fangirling after Scorsese (ooooh Marty, you make the BEST movies *squeak*).

The film starts with U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels on the ferry going to Shutter Island. He is investigating the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a patient from Ashecliffe which is a hospital for the criminally insane. She was there for murdering her three children, but apparently she had no memory of the event. From the point he arrives, Teddy senses there is more going on at Ashecliffe than the good Dr. Crawley is letting on. When a storm hits the island and wipes out the power and the backup generator, the prisoners escape and provide Daniels the opportunity to explore unhindered. Hi-jinx ensue.

Do you know what doesn’t happen often anymore? Filmmakers don’t often use artistic techniques to generate specific responses from the audience. I’m not just talking about music to create tension, I’m talking about using silence to create even more tension. Or lighting. Or weather. It’s something that foreign films still do, but a lot of Hollywood filmmakers take shortcuts. Not so with Master Scorsese.

The first thing that will hit you is the music. It’s dark as heck, and loud. Not bad loud, but it makes you uncomfortable. Then there’s a lady in the garden. Creeeeepy. The dream sequences are magnificent and again, creepy, and the scenes in ward C were fabulously tense. But I think my favourite technique was the humanising comedy that is dropped in at the best moments. I’m not gonna quote any of them. Wouldn’t be funny here anyway. Ya gotsta be there ;)

The performances are outstanding, which is to be expected given the cast. For me, the more noticeable awesomeness came from Ben Kingsley as the the peculiar Dr. Crawley, Michelle Williams as the dead yet chatty Delores, and the two smallest parts, Elias Koteas and Jackie Earle Haley. Don’t get me wrong, Leo was awesome as well, but these guys were mental.

So that’s my quick review. Now go see the film.

1 comment:

  1. I just saw this movie tonight, and man... I don't think i'll be able to stop thinking about it for a while. Didn't read the book before going into it so i had not idea what was going to happen.