Despite his almost 20-year career, Leonardo DiCaprio scored his best ever box office debut with the psycho-thriller “Shutter Island,” which opened with over $41 million during the weekend of Feb. 19.
U.S. Marshalls Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are called to duty on a desolate island off the coast of Massachusetts to examine the disappearance of an insane killer, Rachel Solando, who has vanished from the island’s Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane.
Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese has teamed up with DiCaprio in this tense thriller.
The film takes place in the 1950s and has the audience confused from the very start. Switching between scenes from World War II, Daniels’ dead wife and horrific scenes of the crime Solando is guilty of committing, it is difficult to make sense of what is real and what is imaginary every time Daniels experiences a dream.
As the film progresses, Daniels and his partner Chuck uncover secrets about the hospital while giving the audience insight into Daniels’ inability to cope with the death of his wife. Little by little, Daniels appears to lose sense of what to believe and who to trust as his partner and memory seem to fail him at the most crucial and important times.
The genius of the film lies with the director’s ability to keep the audience guessing throughout, even through the simplest of scenes. While audiences may not understand everything when it’s first presented, it is evident that everything happens for a reason when the film pulls all the occurrences together to giving it a dramatic ending worthy of several award nominations.
The eerie aura felt on the island coupled with the ongoing suspense and superb acting talents of DiCaprio and the rest of the cast helps make the film a definite success and a refreshing take on horror films for the new year.
Kristen Hardy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.