***Official SHUTTER ISLAND Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    PLEASE DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THEFILM.

    Thoroughly enjoyed Martin Scorsese's SHUTTER ISLANDdespite the fact I think many people will have figured out the
    ending within the first few minutes of the film.

    I don't know whether this film follows a familiar twist or it's
    the fault of the trailer that came out last year. All I can tell
    you is that my friend and I immediately guessed the twist
    in the film after watching the trailer.

    Despite all of that, getting from point A to B is a very
    rewarding viewing experience. SHUTTER ISLAND is
    Scorsese's most elaborate effort to date -- an
    enthralling thriller that unravels slowly within a mental
    institution. For the viewer watching this film, it's a
    creepy claustrophobic experience.

    I also must note Leonardo DiCaprio's performance.
    This actor keeps getting better with every role he
    takes. His performance will be well remembered
    here and I hope that his partnership with the director
    continues.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I wouldn't even call it a twist ending because you can never have seen the trailer and it's still clear thorughout the movie that DiCaprio's character is disturbed. I was waiting to see him realize it and see what was the exact explanation of what was happening onscreen than waiting for a Sixth Sense "Aha!" moment.
     
  3. Al_S

    Al_S Second Unit

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    I saw it this past weekend and didn't really see the twist coming until later in the film. When it happened I thought this is a totally different movie than I expected. It was just ok and not that great.
     
  4. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    If a hack directed this then I'd say the twist was given away but we're talking Scorsese here and I don't think he's going to be dump enough to let the cat out of the bag so early on. Even if he had, he and DiCaprio have the pull to go back and fix the problems just like they did on the reshoots to GANGS OF NEW YORK.

    We're discussing this in the TRACK thread but I don't think it's so clear cut that the entire twist of the film was that DiCaprio was a patient. There's nothing scary about this. It's boring and people going into the film already expect this twist and this twist is already being discussed by people who haven't seen the film.

    The woman in the cave pretty much tells DiCaprio that once someone labels you as being insane, there's really nothing you can do because if you try to prove your sane then the doctors will just use this as proof that you are crazy. This is the scary part of SHUTTER ISLAND. To me, it's not the twist but the possibilty that DiCaprio's "conspiracy theory" wasn't a theory but something true. We know he's mentally screwed up and what if he did discover the evil doings on this island and what if the doctors there lured him there to shut him down for good.

    The final shot can make one believe that they were taking him there for the experiments. Originally I went along with everyone else but this theory came up in a discussion after the movie and thinking back on the events, I think everything is fair game and this could have been what happened. To me, both sides of the coin works flawlessly and the final shot makes it clear, to me anyway, that Scorsese wants people to discuss both options as to what happened.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "Shutter Island". Please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.
    All HTF member film reviews of "Shutter Island" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.
    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I saw this last night. I, too, assumed from the start that DiCaprio's character was probably a patient and suffering delusions. The "twist" was that everything that he experienced and we saw (up to a point) turned out to actually be happening as part of the role play therapy. (Exceptions, I believe, being the woman in the cave, and seeing his wife in ward C with George - and of course his dreams). Thinking back it made me realize that there were plenty of clues from the other characters and I'd like to see it again knowing what to look for.

    The cool part to me was the ending. The therapy worked, and he "woke up" to face reality. But was that for the best? Reality turned out to be more than he could handle, and with his defense mechanism pulled away his only option was to pretend it didn't work so that they would lobotomize him. His last quote and the fact that he went with them at the end with no prompting shows he knew his fate, and welcomed it.
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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  8. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Yeah, that's what I figured with the ending. That he wanted to be lobotomized rather than go on living with what he'd done, and so he faked a relapse. Only thing is, I'm wondering why his psychiatrist wasn't tipped off by DiCaprio's "final question" and didn't realize this charade.
     
  9. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I'm not sure the psychiatrist would have fallen for a trick at this point of the game either.

    It's funny but I had at least five people ask me if I saw the movie and then ask if the "twist" was that DiCaprio was a patient. It seems EVERYONE knows what the twist is so, again, I think the movie was meant to be more than just a twist no one sees coming as it's obvious that everyone does know the ending.
     
  10. Film Syncs

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    I didn't know. Fortunately, I didn't see the film's trailer.

    I do think that the visions on the ferry (particularly the weird bit with the record player) came too early and had you wondering about Teddy right from the start. Overall, I enjoyed the film.

     
  11. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I think he was tipped off, and realized that he agreed with the answer.
     
  12. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    As it pretty much is impossible to review this film without addressing it's (not so subtle) secrets, I'll post some thoughts in here.

    1) Adam is completely correct. This is not Scorcese making a "gotcha" movie. The narrative needs are a given, and Scorcese does not try and cloud that result.

    2) I am surprised that some folks are surprised Scorcese would make a film like this. Both The Departed and Gangs seemed pretty "pulp" to me, so this is no surprise. This is a film (honestly like Avatar) that is about how you tell the story. This is masterfully directed. Knowing the twist isn't the trick.

    3) It's understanding the twist. The Dachau scenes (masterful in their devastation) are a set up. I was horrified by them, and immediately sympathetic with Teddy. Such horrors could certainly unsettle a man. I mean, what could be worse than that. I even thought that very thing.

    4) And then the film showed something equally as terrible, and much more personal for the main character. The scene where Andrew remembers coming home is one of the most painful things I've ever seen. I'm a father. And from that moment, there was only one way for the film to end. No man can be that strong. Because that is beyond strength. That grief is beyond comprehension.

    5) So perhaps, the psychiatrist was tipped. It's almost too obvious. Perhaps, after his two years with Andrew (and then the previous two/three days in intimate proximity) gave him the sympathy to let him go. It was very bad for their groundbreaking work (his and the Chief Psychiatrist), but perhaps he thought it humane.

    Skillfully made, extremely well directed, but too heartbreaking to watch again. Pulpy to be sure, but made something more by the cast and the crew.

    The script is also very well constructed to build the roleplay. Like most noticed, it's obvious to a jaded audience, but fresh for the character of Teddy.

    Edit: And what was the music for when Teddy was talking to George in Ward C? It was incredibly beautiful.

    Edit 2: It is "On The Nature of Daylight" by Max Richter, conveniently located at theplaylist.blogspot.com/2010/02/shutter-island-soundtrack-scares-up.html.
     
  13. Film Syncs

    Film Syncs Agent

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    Plenty of posters at other boards and reviewers have been discussing Scorsese "channeling" Hitchcock and certainly Hitchcock is an influence on Scorsese, but you could say that about a lot of directors. Personally, I the use of music and camera angles to be similar to
    Kubrick's THE SHINING.
    That said Scorsese does a nice hommage to Alfred Hitchcock in the modified Paramount studio logo on the SHUTTER ISLAND trailer.
    If I noticed it on first viewing, my guess is that Scorsese didn't use this in the movie's release as he may have found the realized result a bit too obvious. I don't know why his nose is so pointy, after all whose nose is?
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Having done some thinking on the film, I've come to the conclusion that it is a tragedy. It's lasting impact is not in the well-telegraphed switcheroo, but the emotional context of the sequence.
    Here is a man, a strong, smart man (since we have spent two hours with him, crazy or not), who saw the very worst humanity had to offer when he liberated Dachau. He retains his sanity (with some fraying, since we are told he has a drinking issue...perhaps this is related to what he saw - but this is understandable) through that. Scorcese doesn't tell us what Andrew experiences that causes him to crack, he shows it to us. We experience it alongside the main character. And like the Dachau scenes, this is intentional, and in a specific order. He established the character as an alpha male. His fracturing was not caused by weakness, but by tragedy.
    Shutter Island is about the why, not the what. The tragedy comes becuase this is our condition. Many wouldn't be able to comprehend Dachau. Here is a man who could. But even that wasn't the worst thing he would face. We could all be Andrew. I think, beyond the gothic elements and the narrative games which were clearly near and dear to the writer and director, that was the purpose for the film.
     
  15. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    Quote:
    Val Lewton is the name that kept going through my head as I watched the film.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I absolutely loved this film, and I think it's awesome how many people think the 'twist' is Teddy being who he is.

    The REAL twist is the last line of the film, and that is one that is subtle and yet the real horror.

    I do agree that the doctor in the cave provides a much needed 'deus ex machina' to the film, that is the fulcrum around which Teddy, and we follow and go topsy turvy.

    How many of you have read King's Gunslinger series and expected Teddy to find a Rose at the top of the tower? =)

    The one thing I didnt like was the gothic music as Teddy went through the front gates, but as a sense of foreboding it was necessary, but never really had a satisfying second beat.

    Thanks for posting the Paramount Logo. I totally missed that but you can be sure I will watch for it on the Bluray.
     
  17. EricW

    EricW Cinematographer

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    just saw this one the weekend. i'm usually pretty good with seeing plot twists ahead of time (or at least average at it) and i have to admit i didn't see it coming until well into the movie. i did wonder early on whether Ruffalo's character was imaginary but decided it wasn't.
    anyways, i agree it's not the twist that makes the movie. similar to Inside Man, which was a movie that was obviously about more than a bank job, Shutter Island is about the journey. and they're both excellent movies.

    question: i listened to the "Creative Screenwriting" podcast that interviewed Laeta Kalogridis, who adapted the book, and she said the ending was different from the book. could someone elaborate?
     
  18. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    I think this is a fine film. I'm one of the fans. Small but excellent performances by Max von as well a somewhat larger one by Ben Kingsley. The whole cast is great. I like Leonardo too.

    Well, for those who didn't figure it out right away, or weren't tipped off by the trailer, when was it that you thought, "wait a minute? what's really going on here?"

    I'm a sucker. Even though I'm a long time fan of Twilight Zone, I only began to figure it out when there was an implausible number of rats near the ocean. I was like, wow, Scorsese is really being unrealistic here....uh, wait....
     
  19. Steve_Tk

    Steve_Tk Cinematographer

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    I just watched this one last weekend. I need to watch it again because I did not catch on to the twist. I never remembered the trailer, so I really had no idea what the film was about. I started to pick up on things early in the movie. Like how much his Psychiatrist struggled to take the gun off his belt. Really enjoyed it.
     
  20. kateliu

    kateliu Auditioning

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