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Shutter Island

I wanted to watch Shutter Island again before I wrote this review. Unfortunately, thanks to the stupid snow storm, I've fallen behind on my movies and don't know when I'm going to be able to fit in a second viewing.

So, based on the one viewing? A very mild "yes".

My personal issues with the movie stem from the fact that I already knew, based solely on the trailer (I didn't read the book), what the twist was at the end. Since I knew the basics about how it was going to end, the rest of the movie was kind of like a paint by numbers for how they were getting there. I don't want to give anything away, but there are some VERY obvious clues to what's really going on, just in the first 10 minutes of the movie. I had a hard time focusing on the story since I was on an Easter egg hunt, trying to pick out the evidence of what I knew would happen in the end.

My issues with the movie itself have a lot to do with the unexpected stylization of the film and the rest is (possibly) how the film was adapted from the book. The first thing I said when I walked out of the theater was, "What that a Martin Scorcese movie or a David Lynch movie?" For those that don't know, David Lynch is known for... pretty much just fucking with you... with movies like Twin Peaks, Lost Highway and Mullholand Drive. Scorcese is a much more traditional filmmaker with his own subtle style (which is not even remotely as extreme as Lynch's). Knowing I was going into a Martin Scorcese movie, I was unprepared for and had a hard time dialing in to such a visually bizarre experience.

More so than the "Lynch"ing of the movie, I couldn't help but feel that the majority of the flashbacks were inserted solely to confuse the audience. The majority of them had little to no impact on the outcome of the movie and if they were there strictly for character development, I never made that connection. I was told (by someone who read the book) that the war was supposed to be the reason for his drinking problem. Based on what we saw in the movie, however, DiCaprio's character didn't have a drinking problem, nor did his character need to have a drinking problem for any of the main storyline of the movie to make sense. Since I didn't know, or need to know that he had a drinking problem, all of the war flashbacks were extraneous.

I can't really get into too much more without giving away the ending. Having read over what I just wrote it sounds more like a pretty strong "no" than a mild "yes", but if you go in prepared for an aural and visual feast and can disregard the majority of the flashbacks, you may enjoy the mysteries of Shutter Island.

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