Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shutter Island

By s. Tuesday, October 11, 2011 , , , , , , ,
(138 min, 2010)
Plot: Drama set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding nearby.
Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Laeta Kalogridis (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer and Mark Ruffalo

Rat in a maze, audience in despair.
I really wanted to like this movie, but I can't. I was so hyped to see this – I love Scorsese's work – Goodfellas, Casino, The Departed – the guy is a legend. I like Leonardo Dicaprio a lot – he created mind blowing performance in “Revolutionary Road” and he is a very decent actor – I haven't seen him screw up a performance once. He makes great choices, he always delivers and he is very charismatic – that man is pure anger – he yells like insane in every single movie of his and that's gotta come out of somewhere – he is too good at it. I love actors like this – passionate, memorable, driven.But here, there is simply no connection between his acting style and the movie. The casting was first thing that went wrong.

„Shutter Island” is not engaging, boring and has terrible, terrible editing - few days ago I stumbled upon porn movie on tv - God knows it had better editing. I know Thelma Schoonmaker
who is responsible for this, has 3 Academy Awards and it only makes me more surprised – what happened? Nobody can defend such horrid editing – it was awful, it took the focus away from the movie. And what's even worse – it was splendid and exceptionally well done in flashbacks scenes. Very uneven work, but mostly just plain bad.

And that's the problem with this movie – it's uneven and nobody knows what's going on and what should be done. Scorsese doesn't know how to show the story, the scene were Dolores appears in cell next to insane criminal was truly awful, I have no idea how a director of such fame and class could do something like this, actors are generally confused as if they didn't read a script at all, the editor and music supervisors, were, I assume, high during making of this film.
The music is obnoxious, chaotic and inflicts actual pain. I don't know, maybe it was intentional. Some of the pieces fit the movie quite nicely and create very dense, creepy atmosphere. But as a whole it's impossible to listen to the soundtrack album before taking a massive amount of pain killers. I tried to do that – I couldn't. And for the love of God, I listen to Slipknot sometimes.

I love twists, shocking endings and crazy plots. But this film has one of the most far fetched twists I've seen and I'm “Lost” fan. The main plot is so entangled and tiring, you just don't care by the end of it. I think even Ben Kingsley had trouble actually saying certain lines in the big reveal scene, it was so ridiculous, especially the whole anagram drama. And the ending is rather ambiguous – not because the plot is complicated, it's really not, but because Scorsese apparently wanted his audience to reflect on Teddy's character's life and choices so he left some things unsaid. Too bad the movie is not worthy of any thinking after seeing it.

I was disappointed by Michelle Williams's work, I love her, but here she seemed to be reciting her lines, nothing more. It's a big shame – she could have done wonders with that role. DiCaprio does fine job, but whenever he uses the word “fuck” for many years now, I cannot stop laughing and there is one truly hilarious scene of that kind with his trembling hand. He seems a bit lost, though and not intentionally. It's like he is confusing this for another of Scorsese's gangster movies. He has some fantastic scenes here, but overall it's nothing comparing to what he did in “Revolutionary Road. Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley are terrific, especially Clarkson who is as always the best one in the cast, Mark Ruffalo on the other hand provides quite a tricky and subtle performance. Emily Mortimer, who is usually very lovely, plays a psychopath convincingly. Everybody represents different level of acting abilities here so it also adds to the general atmosphere of chaos.
Previously mentioned flashbacks and dream sequences are beautiful. In fact they are so good they are the reason sufficient enough to see this film. Tiny masterpieces in otherwise very mediocre movie. The scene were DiCaprio watches dying captain of concentration camp will haunt you forever – intense, very well made and stunning visually. They are the reason alone to give this movie 6 stars, even if everything else disappoints.

The idea was there, the cast was there and the great director was there too. Unfortunately, there was no actual passion for the material, for the story, for the characters, nobody seems committed to the movie. The best movies are the ones during which you forget you are watching a movie, something fake and not real. During watching this film you see puppets reciting lines, better or worse, but you know it's all fake. Why would you care then?


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