Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels, who is investigating a psychiatric facility located on the island named in the title. The film grossed over $128 million in its initial domestic theater release.Shutter Island was originally stated to be released on October 2, 2009, but Paramount Pictures pushed the release date to February 19, 2010.
In 1954, U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his newly assigned partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), go to the Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island located in Boston Harbor. They are investigating the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a patient who apparently vanished from a locked room. Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head psychiatrist, explains that Rachel was institutionalized after drowning her three children.
During the search for Rachel, Teddy sees a lighthouse but is told it has already been searched. He asks to see the hospital personnel files; Cawley refuses, but allows the Marshals to question the staff. They are frustrated to learn that Rachel's psychiatrist, Dr. Sheehan, left on vacation after her disappearance. That night, Teddy has a strange dream in which he sees his wife Dolores Chanal (Michelle Williams), who was killed in a fire two years earlier. She tells Teddy that Rachel is still on the island, as is Andrew Laeddis, the arsonist responsible for her own death.
After interviewing patients from Rachel's group therapy sessions, Teddy reveals to Chuck his ulterior motive for taking the investigation. Andrew Laeddis was sent to Ashecliffe for his crime and then disappeared, motivating Teddy to investigate the institution. Teddy then met a former patient, George Noyce, who claimed that Ashecliffe experimented on patients, so Teddy is determined to bring the institution down.
Cawley informs Teddy that Rachel has been found and presents her to him without logical explanation as to how she escaped or where she had been. The delusional Rachel (Emily Mortimer) mistakes Teddy for her husband who died in World War II, and then becomes very agitated. Later, Teddy develops increasingly severe migraine headaches accompanied by hypersensitivity to light. In his sleep he has more strange dreams, followed by waking hallucinations mostly related to World War II and the Dachau concentration camp, which he helped to liberate. His dreams and investigations suggest that there is an additional patient on the island that is being kept in secret – he believes this to be Andew Laeddis. As an ongoing storm prevents him from returning home, Teddy becomes determined to search for Laeddis in Ward C, which along with the lighthouse is the only part of the island that he has not been permitted to investigate. Posing as an orderly, he enters Ward C and finds George Noyce (Jackie Earle Haley), who states that the lighthouse is where lobotomies are performed. Noyce tells Teddy that the entire investigation is a game constructed for him, and that Chuck is not on his side.
Teddy rejoins Chuck and they head to the cliffs surrounding the island, intending to reach the lighthouse. Chuck and Teddy eventually become separated, and while looking for Chuck at the foot of the cliff, Teddy finds a woman hiding in a cave who claims to be the real Rachel Solando (Patricia Clarkson). She says that she was a psychiatrist at Ashecliffe until she found out about the experiments, and she was forcibly committed to ensure her silence. She explains that the hospital is using psychotropic medication in an attempt to develop mind control techniques and create "sleeper agent" spies. She says that Teddy has been similarly drugged since he arrived on the island.
Teddy returns to Ashecliffe, where Dr. Cawley tells him that he came to the island without a partner; nobody seems to know Chuck. Eventually Teddy makes it to the lighthouse but finds nothing unusual on his way up the stairs, contrary to what he expected. At the top of the lighthouse, he finds Dr. Cawley, who reveals that Teddy is not Edward Daniels, but ex-Marshal Andrew Laeddis. Cawley says that he has been a patient at Ashecliffe for two years since he murdered his manic depressive wife after discovering she had drowned their children. Cawley explains that no such Rachel Solando ever existed. "Chuck" then arrives and reveals himself as Dr. Sheehan, Andrew's psychiatrist, and the woman who was earlier presented as the found Solando turns out to be a nurse. Sheehan and Cawley state that Andrew lived the fantasy of still being an active U.S. Marshal, searching for Andrew Laeddis as a means to disassociate himself from what he had done. They show him that the names "Edward Daniels" and "Rachel Solando" are anagrams of "Andrew Laeddis" and "Dolores Chanal", respectively.
Cawley states that Andrew has gone through repeated cycles of realizing the truth only to regress into his fantasy again, during which he assaulted multiple orderlies and patients. This led the administrative board to demand a lobotomy as a permanent solution to his problem. Sheehan and Cawley explain that they decided to try an experimental therapy, in which they created the role play of Solando's disappearance based on Andrew's fantasy. The entire hospital staff played along with Andrew's fantasy of being an investigator searching for a missing patient. They say they hoped that by failing to uncover his mind-control conspiracy, Andrew would see reality and return to it permanently, and the lobotomy would be called off. Teddy is initially doubtful, but finally appears to accept their explanations.
The next morning, Andrew once again calls Sheehan "Chuck" and mentions exposing the Island's doings to the outside world. Dr Cawley's experiment has failed and Andrew has regressed into his delusion again. Sheehan silently signals to Cawley, and orderlies approach to take Andrew for the lobotomy. Andrew asks Sheehan whether it would be worse to "live as a monster, or die as a good man". Sheehan calls Andrew "Teddy," but he does not turn around. He then walks away calmly with the orderlies.
Filming of the World War II flashback scenes for DiCaprio's character, a former soldier, took place in Taunton, Massachusetts.Scorsese filmed the scenes in old industrial buildings in Taunton's Whittenton Mills Complex to replicate the Dachau concentration camp, which was seen in flashbacks.Extras portraying the Dachau prisoners were called back to reshoot a scene in July, because the film of one scene was damaged due to an improperly sealed film shipping container. It is not clear why Scorsese chose to depict the liberation of Dachau in a winterly setting; the actual liberation of the concentration camp was in spring (end of April). Scenes were filmed at the old Medfield State Hospital in Medfield, Massachusetts. Scenes in Cawley's office were shot on the second floor of the chapel during the late evening; lights were shone on the windows to make it look like it was daytime. The surrounding brick walls in the outside hospital scenes were actually painted plywood which served the dual purpose of acting as scenery and blocking the set from view of a local road. Originally, scenes were going to be shot at the old Worcester State Hospital, but the filming would have gone on during the demolition of the surrounding buildings, which was impractical. Borderland State Park in North Easton, Massachusetts was used for the cabin scene, with the cabin being located in Sharon, Massachusetts. Peddocks Island was used as a setting for the story's island and East Point, in Nahant, Massachusetts for the lighthouse scenes.Filming ended on July 2, 2008.

Shutter Island

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