“Shutter Island” – 4 stars
First, let me say this: I did it for you. I went to see Martin Scorsese’s new film, Shutter Island, for you dear reader. Ever since Marty pledged his support to a self-avowed child rapist last year (Roman Polanski), I decided that there was no need to support his films anymore. It saddened me greatly that this cinematic giant would show his stripes so pathetically by showing solidarity with such a slimeball, but God created us with Free Will and Marty obviously didn’t lose any sleep over it. But I knew that our readers would be interested in this film, indeed a couple have already expressed their interest to me directly, so I bit the bullet and went to see it anyway.
Now, this won’t be an in-depth, probing review because Shutter Island is the type of film that you’re best not knowing much about before you enter the cinema. I will say that as this was Scorsese’s tribute to Hitchcock, he does a fine job. Anyone who enjoys Hitchcock’s work will see lots of tributes and nods in the cinematography (from the use of music, to the camera angles, to the building of tension). The film is solid, not exceptional but a good film. DiCaprio turns in a fine performance and is surrounded by a great cast of supporting actors (Ben Kingsley is excellent and Patricia Clarkson steals a scene). It is a film that engenders lots of unease, but does it very subtly and continuously. There are lots of twists and turns and plenty to talk about on the way out of the theater.
Shutter Island does not reinvent the wheel, but it does show off Scorsese’s directing chops in his most tension-filled film since Cape Fear. Scorsese is a fine director, but he is no Hitchcock. And now I will return to my previously scheduled boycott. Thank you for taking the time to read this review.