Wednesday, 9.35pm, RTÉ One
A crime thriller with an eerie feel, this isn’t Martin Scorsese’s finest film but it is a hugely enjoyable take on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Set in 1954, U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo Dicaprio) is assigned to investigate the disappearance of a murderous female patient from Boston’s Shutter Island Ashecliffe Hospital. Teddy is joined by a new partner, Chuke Aule (Mark Ruffulo), who is as calm as Teddy is edgy. The escapee, Rachel Salando, is in the hospital for the criminally insane after drowning her three children, while Teddy is drawn to the island by his own dark past. His wife and children were killed in a fire and he is determined to track down the man he holds responsible, and who he believes is also on the island. He soon comes up with a promising lead for his official case, but the staff, including the mysterious Dr Naehring (Max von Sydow) and Dr Cawley (Ben Kingsley), seem determined to obstruct him. Before long he begins to suspect that he’s been brought there as part of a twisted plot by doctors who carry out morally dubious treatments on their vulnerable patients. As a fierce storm cuts off communication with the mainland, more dangerous criminals flee in the confusion. An increasingly frantic Teddy starts to unravel, doubting everything − his memory, his partner and even his sanity. Scorsese has cleverly worked in references to his own favourite films, and the movie is a dazzling pastiche of 1940s and 1950s Hollywood. It’s chockfull of bold narrative twists and unsettling dream sequences, while a darkly atmospheric score reflects Teddy’s spiralling paranoia. Impressively acted and superbly directed.
The story behind the film
Shutter Island is an adaptation of a book by bestselling author Dennis Lehane, published in 2003. He also wrote Mystic River (2003) and Gone, Baby, Gone (2007). Boston born Lehane is the author of nine novels, a collection of short stories and a play.