It’s been three years since Martin Scorsese won his long overdue Best Director Oscar for his return to the gangster drama, “The Departed.” Now, Scorsese’s back. This time, he’s once again abandoning his Little Italy roots for a larger scale mystery entitled “Shutter Island,” opening October 2.
“Shutter Island” takes place in the 1950s and tells the story of Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), a U.S. Marshal who’s been sent to investigate the disappearance of a murderous woman from an isolated mental hospital called “Shutter Island.” There is more to this Island than it seems, and a great conspiracy unfolds, one that everyone in the mental hospital seems to be in.
Scrosese is one of the best actor’s directors, that is, the director who knows actors best and how to work with them, therefore usually compiling the best ensembles. Besides Leo, the cast of “Shutter Island” includes Ben Kingsley (“Schindler’s List”), Mark Ruffalo (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), Emily Mortimer (“Match Point”), Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain”), and Max von Sydow (“The Seventh Seal”). Leo is not a bad edition either. His fine acting talents are sometimes overlooked by his “pretty boy” reputation. This will mark the fourth compilation between Scorsese and DiCaprio, a pair that seems to work well together every time (just maybe not on the same level as Scorsese and De Niro once did).
Based on the trailer, I can’t really formulate a true stance on whether or not this movie will be good or bad. So far, all I’m really seeing are some cheap thrills and a plot that resembles “Hot Fuzz.” Hopefully, this is just because the trailer is focusing more on the mystery aspect of the film, and a deeper, more complex message lies within.
Over the past few years, Scorsese has begun to abandon smaller budget films for big budget blockbusters. “The Aviator” was an extremely entertaining, if not somewhat cliche, look at the life of Howard Hughes. “The Departed” worked so well because despite the non-stop action and violence, it felt like Scorsese was returning to the kind of characters he brought to life in “Mean Streets” and “Goodfellas”: the low lifes who’s story is never told. The people you never thought you’d want to hear about but by the end, you’re totally mesmerized.
I hope Scorsese hasn’t forgotten this, and that he’ll bring a little bit of this old genius into every shot of “Shutter Island.”