Abbot and Costello. Scorsese and De Niro. Depp and Burton. DiCaprio and. well. Scorsese. Who says Marty can’t be on the list twice? Especially when you consider the fact that his pairing with Leo has already resulted in instant classics “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator” and “The Departed.”
The good news for movie goers is that DiCaprio and Scorsese’s cinematic bromance continues with “Shutter Island,” a neo-noir mind-bending thriller based off of the best selling novel by Denis Lehane (“Mystic River”).
The film follows Federal Marshall Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) as he and his partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), investigate the disappearance of a female patient from a hospital for the criminally insane.
On paper, the task doesn’t seem particularly daunting, considering the fact that the aforementioned institution is housed on an island. Think Alcatraz, only off the coast of Boston instead of San Francisco.
Somehow though, the patient, Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), seems to have completely vanished.
As the two marshalls dig deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding her disappearance, they start to realize that there are even more dangerous secrets hidden on Shutter Island.
There is a reason why Scorsese is not only one of the greatest living directors, but one of the greatest of all time.
Actually, there are many reasons, but for the sake of time and space, let’s just focus on one: his meticulous attention to detail. No detail, no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem, is ignored.
Anyone who has read Lehane’s page-turner will have fun picking these out, while the previously uninitiated will have to wait until their second viewing to appreciate everything going on.
And there will be a second viewing. In fact, the chances are very good that you’ll want to watch “Shutter Island” over and over again just to soak it all in.
For Scorsese, it’s his first real trip back to the thriller genre since 1999’s underrated “Bringing out the Dead,” but it’s like he never left.
He just dusts off a few noir conventions and makes himself at home.
Sure, if you’re well-versed in these kinds of genre films, you may find it a tad too formulaic for its own good at times, but these occasions are easily forgivable, seeing as the movie is constantly picked up by its killer visuals and cast.
The film has the look and feel of a nightmare from start to finish. On top of the escaped patient, there are ghostly apparitions walking the hospital grounds, and a mysterious lighthouse that no one seems to want to talk about. What more do you need to know, other than Buffalo Bill himself, Ted Levine (“Silence of the Lambs”) is actually the warden in charge of the place?
Headed by DiCaprio and Ruffalo, the cast of the film is nothing short of spectacular. DiCaprio may be the best actor working in Hollywood right now not named Johnny Depp.
He is an absolute joy to watch as he attempts to assemble the puzzle and shift through the mind games of “Shutter Island.” Also, it’s a treat to hear the Bostonian accent that he perfected in “The Departed” again.
Ruffalo is a great counter- balance to DiCaprio in the film. Chuck’s cucumber cool demeanor compliments Teddy’s hotheaded, loose cannon streak perfectly.
Sir Ben Kingsley does a fantastic job as Dr. Cawley, one of the head doctors on Shutter Island.
With one small look near the film’s conclusion, Kingsley makes you forget all about things like “BloodRayne” and reminds you just where that Sir in his name came from.
Laeta Kalogridis’ script stays very loyal to Lehane’s novel, hitting every hairpin turn along the way and perfectly capturing the paranoia that lurked on every page.
Fans of the “book is always better” debate should have fun with this one, but it might be about as close to a push as you can get. Both are thoroughly enjoyable ways of passing the time.
If DiCaprio and Scorsese continue along their current path, they may just officially make the jump from cinematic dynamic duo to simply dynamic duo a la Bert and Ernie or Batman and Robin.
Watch out peanut butter and jelly. They’re coming for you next.
Colin McGlinchey is a fifth-year student majoring in English and minoring in journalism. He can be reached at CM646588@wcupa.edu