|Photo Credit: Shutter Island / Paramount Pictures|
By 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio had teamed up with director Martin Scorsese for the fourth time when they adapted Shutter Island to the bring screen. Throughout the year I truly enjoy watching this movie, especially to get into the Halloween mood. Dramatic, beautifully composited, and wonderfully acted, one of cinema's most formidable duos forged a flawed semi-masterpiece in misdirection.
Set after World War II, U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels (DiCaprio) is brought in to investigate Ashcliffe Hospital, a psychiatric asylum that houses criminally violent patients on an island. Paired with a new deputy (Mark Ruffalo), Daniels interrogates the whereabouts of a missing patient Rachel Solando. Security, nurses and the psychiatrists in charge are disturbing reserved and calm. Daniels attempts to get to the bottom of the truth of the case but battles more against his own sanity.
In cinema, asylums are a gold mine for genres like drama and horror. Female characters are often the chosen victims entered into a mental health facility by families that don't understand them and societies shunning their breakdowns or disagreeable personalities from the public e.g. The Snake Pit, Girl Interrupted, Sucker Punch, and Changeling -to name a few. The characters are often locked away by stern and impatient overseers who are forcing them to feel like they are "crazy"., Usually it's up to the audience to decide who is more unhinged: the authority or the out-of-control sufferer. In Shutter Island, a different take is used not only with a male character as the main protagonist but also the setting itself and its inmates.