A hulking, brooding monster of anxious filmmaking, all wild storms and unsettling scowls and crooked angles; a hand-woven tapestry of flashbacks, hallucinations, corrupted memories, and unreliable reality. DiCaprio’s protagonist Teddy is a faulty flashlight in the dark, labyrinthine mess of Shutter Island.
There have been notices of influences like Fuller, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and while I think all of these are present, make no mistake that this is a Scorsese film. A singular work, no doubt, but Scorsese for sure. Playing almost giddily with twists and cliched devices, no matter when you think you have all the pieces put together, he makes this picture not about the final result, but about getting there. It’s about the journey to the end, and not the end itself. And he builds the tension, and holds us in captivity, until he releases it like a pressure cooker and the credits ooze onscreen. And I have to say, the final few minutes of this film, and the questions presented there, just knocked me flat.
Fabulous acting, cinematography, set design, everything really. A maddening, wonderful cohesive picture.