I just saw Shutter Island on DVD (yes, we still rent those) with my wife, and it was a good movie; the 8.0 grade on IMDB is agreeable to me.
I haven’t read the book, but my brothers have, so while they didn’t give away the whole plot, I could immediately identify it: The protagonist is a mental patient and what he is investigating is not for real, but his own psychology. It was very entertaining nonetheless, and Scorsese obviously chose to give it a away half way trough or so anyhow; not only did I think so, but my wife figured it out quite fast too, and she didn’t know anything about the plot beforehand.
One thing I found disappointing, though, is that the whole gig was an elaborate role-playing game. I thought it was all in his head. That the scenes were for real in the sense that he did talk to the guys he was talking to, were in the rooms he in fact was in, and so forth, but the dialogue etc was all in his head, and not like it was “in real life”. As such, it was pretty well made, especially in the details were the doctor insists that he takes the pills (aspirin in his fantasy, but psychopharmacological drugs in real life, I figured), and so forth; or the little cracks in the illusion, as when you as a viewer saw that the woman had nothing in her hand when she drank a glass of water.
Scorsese also established that view, in the way the doctor in the beginning explains how a woman totally lives in her fantasy world, where the room is her house, the guardian is her postman, and so forth. She has no idea about reality. Well done, I thought, because they are actually explaining the protagonist’s mental state.
But then it turns out that his buddy Chuck is not a fantasy figure and so forth, but was in fact there all the time, but it was his psychiatrist playing a role, etc. Reminds one of the movie The Game, which of course is not very trustworthy.
But this elaborate role-playing game in Shutter Island, which reveals itself in the end, takes away the trustworthiness of this movie too. It would have been a much better story, to me, if it turned out to be pretty much all in his head instead. It would be a story I could believe in, but as it turned out, I really can’t, so it was quite a disappointment.
What do you think?