- James Mottram
- 25 February 2010
Just as he followed his gangland classic Goodfellas with his pulpy remake of Cape Fear, so Martin Scorsese’s first feature film proper since The Departed is thriller Shutter Island. Based on the 1954-set novel by Dennis Lehane, like Cape Fear, it’s expertly cast and executed – and way over the top. Marking his fourth collaboration with Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio plays US Marshall Teddy Daniels, who arrives on the storm-drenched rock off the coast of Boston with his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a mental institution run by Sir Ben Kingsley’s suspicious shrink.
While the less said (or indeed thought) about the twist-dependant plot the better, where Shutter Island scores is its supporting cast – with welcome appearances from some of America’s finest character actors (Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine and Patricia Clarkson). Technically, as you might expect for a film shot by Robert Richardson (Inglourious Basterds, The Aviator) and designed by Dante Ferretti (Sweeney Todd, Gangs of New York), it’s top-notch, and with the director embedding the fabric of the film with references to everything from The Red Shoes to Vertigo, it’s a cineaste’s delight. But its success or failure all depends on how you’ll feel about the turn-everything-on-its-head ending, one that even the most casual of viewers will see coming a mile off.
General release from Fri 12 March.