Friday, February 19, 2010

"Shutter Island"

I'll be writing a full review of Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island for The Dispatch next week, but I figured I may as well enter the conversation since the movie is being released in theaters nationwide today.

I have mixed feelings about about the film. There are some great moments here, especially near the end, and Leonardo DiCaprio has honestly never been better. But the film as a whole is very uneven and awkwardly structured, with flashbacks that seem to stifle the natural flow of the story by their length and dream sequences that seem to stop the story cold. The overbearing use of music is also distracting, if appropriately ominous. It may be the kind of film that takes multiple viewings to really appreciate what Scorsese is going for, but on initial viewing, Shutter Island left me cold.

Scorsese seems to have settled into a slicker, more Hollywood-esque aesthetic in his later years that seems to go against the subject at hand. Everything about Shutter Island seems over produced and overly calculated. Part of that comes from an intentional, Hitchcockian feel, but in the end it just doesn't feel right.

Sharp eyed readers will notice the two and a half star grade I assigned it on the sidebar. This is not a bad film, and there are good things to be found here, but it left me underwhelmed. Approach with tempered expectations.

2 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

I loved it!

The use of weather to externalize events and simply for a good old yarn set in a hurricane made for a cinematically rich and varried experience. and scenes in a cave, at a lighthouse, in a cafeteria and in a cemetery burial vault were riveting. I love dteh Dachau flashback device, and the ending for me was terrific, as was Di Caprio, Clarkson, Haley and others.

Matthew Lucas said...

I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't. I sound like I'm more negative on it than I really am because everyone else is so positive, but I just felt underwhelmed by it.

The cast though, as you say, was terrific.