(MA) Paramount DVD/BD
Martin Scorsese and his BFF Leonardo DiCaprio go crazy for their fourth film partnership, taking us back to the 1950s and trapping us in an island asylum for the criminally insane.
Based on a novel by Mystic River scribe Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island has US Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) investigating a bizarre disappearance at an isolated “funny farm”.
Scorsese channels pulp novels, B-movies, creature features and Hitchcock to ensnare us in a clever mystery which veers smartly from supernatural suggestions to confronting questions about who actually has a sound mind.
Beyond a final act which deserves applause for its abundant complications and surprises, you can choose to look deeper into Shutter Island. The treatment of mentally disturbed people often comes to the fore, particularly as the techniques and attitudes used can be antiquated.
While it is hard going, the sad climax can fuel hours of discussions about the impact of grief, extent of family protection and our ability to cope with guilt.