Shutter Island Movie: A look At The Underrated Scorsese Flick

Do Share
In a still from Shutter Island

Shutter Island is one of those film that has a major twist in the end (spoiler alert! But that’s on you if you still haven’t watched the movie), there are many movies like such but not many of them are unpredictable like Shutter Island. The bombshell reveal in the end is what puts it among the rare category of movies that have a build up throughout the film, hinting towards something and then hits you with that unexpected twist.

Martin Scorsese has made 25 films over his career, dabbled in few mob movies, few religious movies, even romantic movies but many of them are psychological thrillers. Even though Martin Scorsese’s name has become synonymous with mob movies still he has a large portfolio in various genres.

He made many psychological thrillers but they get overlooked by his mob movies and Shutter Island, which had above average ratings at the time of its release, still is underrated in my opinions when Martin Scorsese movies are referenced.

Shutter Island Movie Plot

Shutter Island is a movie about a US Marshall Edward Daniels hired to investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando who vanished from the Ashecliffe Hospital for criminally insane located on the Shutter Island.

The whole movie hints towards something being wrong with Edward Daniels and towards the end it is revealed that he is the most dangerous patient in the island who murdered his mentally disturbed and bipolar wife, Dolores Chanal, after she drowned their children and the past few days were just a façade to try curing Edward’s, whose real name is Andrew Laeddis’ lunacy one last time before lobotomizing him.

The camera pans away as Edward/Andrew is being taken away by guards presumably for lobotomy towards the lighthouse leaving the viewers in wonder. 

In a still from Shutter Island Movie

Shutter Island: Questionable Plotlines

The movie has a pretty studded cast including Leonardo DiCaprio in the leading role along with Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and many others in the supporting role. The cast fits perfect into their places and further elevates the intense and dark ambience of the film.

There are moments in the film which leaves you confused and makes you question the reasoning behind the way the story is going. At the end when the truth is revealed, more questioned are emerged and more left unanswered. More than 10 years later those questions are still unanswered but they don’t seem as important to the story of Andrew Laeddis anymore.

Shutter Island: The Idea That The Island Encompasses

The best part about Shutter Island is Shutter Island itself. Covered with abrupt water, the chaotic weather, the eeriness of Ashecliffe hospital contributes to the bleak sensation that is meant to captivate the audience throughout the film.

The film is based on Dennis Lehane’s novel with the same name and for him, the setting of the island and its atmosphere were really important to have an impression on the viewers. Dennis Lehane envisioned the island according to his memories when he visited Long Island in Boston Harbour during the blizzard in 1978 when he was a child and that nostalgic aspect gave life to his idea of Shutter Island.

In a still from Shutter Island Film

Shutter Island: 10 Years Later

Shutter Island was released in 2010 and that was also the year when Inception, another movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio was released. Inception took the world by storm in 2010 and for all the right reason with its confusing plot and twisted, ambiguous ending and in a similar but very different way Shutter Island has a confusing plot with twisted and ambiguous ending.

In no way Inception and Shutter Island can be compared as they are very different movies in their own manner. Both deserve their fair share of love and it seems that Shutter Island is receiving more love and recognition that it deserves after many years of its release.

Towards the end Andrew asks, “Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?” making the viewers curious as to whether he will live the way he is now, as a monster who is a murderer or get lobotomized to die as a brain dead but a good man and its ambiguity and the vagueness adds to its mystery for the viewers to bewilder.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Shutter Island is definitely not the best Scorsese film but from storytelling perspective it is a pretty good film. The film is visually stunning even though a lot of it is CGI, a few scenes in particular standout from the rest of the movie.

The Island itself has a life of its own as if the island is one of the characters and it is very critical for the world building and storytelling in the film. The popularity of the film has increased significantly since its release and many still discover and enjoy the uneasiness that the movie delivers. Shutter Island is available on Netflix to watch right now.