Friday, May 28, 2010

Shutter Island

Suljettu saari / Shutter Island.
    US © 2010 Paramount Pictures. P: Brad Fischer, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Martin Scorsese. D: Martin Scorsese. SC: Laeta Kalogridis – based on the novel by Dennis Lehane (2003). DP: Robert Richardson – shot on 35 mm, special scenes 65 mm, digital – master format digital intermediate 2K – color – 2,35:1. PD: Dante Ferretti. M supervisor: Robbie Robertson – compilation score from György Ligeti, Krzysztof Penderecki, John Cage, Nam June Paik, Giacinto Scelsi, Rothko Chapel 2, Robert Erickson, Brian Eno, Alfred Schnittke, Lou Harrison, John Adams, Gustav Mahler – and a "This Bitter Earth" (Dinah Washington) remix during end credits. S: Eugene Gearty. ED: Thelma Schoonmaker.
    C: Leonardo DiCaprio (Teddy Daniels), Mark Ruffalo (Chuck Aule), Ben Kingsley (Dr. Cawley), Max von Sydow (Dr. Naehring), Michelle Williams (Dolores Chanal), Emily Mortimer (Rachel 1), Patricia Clarkson (Rachel 2), Jackie Earle Haley (George Noyce), Ted Levine (Warden), John Carroll Lynch (Deputy Warden McPherson). 138 min.
    A Finnkino release with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Timo Porri / Janne Staffans viewed at Kinopalatsi 3, Helsinki, 28 May 2010.

The digital intermediate look was obvious but not jarring.

Although I love Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio I had not been looking forward to see Shutter Island. Seeing the trailers and the posters my instinctive feeling had been "do I have to see this", yet friends had been convincing me that the film is worthy.

It is state of the art film making by top talent. But I'm not convinced that Shutter Island was made because the subject was irresistible to Martin Scorsese to explore his personal demons. When he is committed there is nobody to top him.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a great actor and a unique film star. He is at his best when he is relaxed and can display his boyish sensitivity and sense of humour. He could have the capacity to transform like James Stewart did from the young charming guy to the grown-up man who can turn a shattering performance. Here he's good but he tries too hard.

The story belongs to the Caligari – Bedlam – Shock Corridor tradition, but in this horror superproduction there is a sense of discrepancy, of too big production values for a story like this. More can be less.

Shutter Island, set in 1952, refers to the biggest issues of the day (Holocaust, nuclear destruction, Gulag, brainwashing, the Red scare) but because of the trick emphasis of the plot the issues fail to resonate, and there is no sense that they are deeply and personally meant.

The compilation score is exceptionally interesting.

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