Saturday, February 20, 2010
Shutter Island. A
When I read Dennis Lehane's marvelous novel on which Martin Scorsese's new movie is based I immediately wanted to share the experience with others. Yes, I wanted to think about and interpret the book myself, but even more I wished to discuss it with people. So I got a few friends to give it a read and when they did we all had a ball digging into the psychology of Lehane's sensational tome. I was pretty sure of three things: one, this is a masterfully crafted tale, two, my exposition of the ending has to be correct, and three, this would make for one hell of a movie. now the cinematic adaptation is out and I went to the first showing on the first day and left then theater when it ended in shock-and I knew what was going to happen. I can't imagine what the other people in the auditorium were thinking (though the three people who walked out on it decided too early that this was a jigsaw puzzle going nowhere). It's hard to really say if 'Shutter Island' is comparable to Scorsese's previous works because it's so far off the path he usually takes. And I'm glad he chose something so isolated from his previous movies. He's already showed he can handle gangster and biopic. By taking on a project like 'Shutter Island' he's simply broadening his range. He's also proving he can handle this genre. And the success of the movie isn't a fluke; Scorsese plays each scene like only a master would. His approach his fearless. He doesn't restrain from putting the horrors of Lehane's novel on screen. He actually goes to the extreme in some scenes in his attempt to take the viewer down into a pit of madness. 'Shutter Island' messes with your mind like few movies do-or can for that matter. It's an attribute first and foremost to Lehane's novel, but also to Scorsese's guidance and the screen performances of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley (there's also terrific support from Michelle Williams and the great Max von Sydow). 'Shutter Island' does have its detractors. All I can really say about that is to ignore them. Either they haven't read the book and don't get it, or they just don't get it, period. But I suppose everyone's entitled to their own opinion, however distorted it may be. Mine is that this is a mind-bending creep-fest that will become a classic. I'm very glad that it was given a proper adaptation. Lehane's book deserved the best and it got it.