Shutter Island review and ending explained!

Leonardo DiCaprio’s thriller flick has garnered a large number of positive reviews from fans and critics alike. The film’s ending had almost everyone baffled as well. Here is our review of the film Shutter Island and a detailed explanation of the climax as well!

Shutter Island poster
Official movie poster of Shutter Island

Martin Scorcese’s Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Deputy U.S Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels in this psychological mystery thriller. He and his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) takes up the investigation of a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island. A patient’s escape is what causes the intervention of the two marshals. The movie is based on Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel of the same name. Furthermore, Ben Kingsley, Max Sydow, and Michelle Williams also play important roles in the film. A collection of modern classical music was used for the film’s soundtrack. The film has become a critical and commercial success.

Watch the film’s trailer here:

Review of Shutter Island

Director of shutter island
Director Martin Scorcese has done a stupendous job with the film

The film wastes no time from the get-go in setting the overall tone. Make no mistake – Shutter Island is a horror film in its rawest form. The director makes us experience nervousness with every second. Shutter Island is a remote island off Boston. The island has been made into an asylum-like prison for the criminally insane. The initial journey to the island is gloomy and eerie. In addition, there is an air of dread that grips us from within.

The prisoner at large is a woman who killed three children (Emily Mortimer). Two marshals called for such a problem does seem strange at first. Once we see the grim insides of the prison, it’s no longer a question. The ghastly nature of inmates also makes a case for itself as well. Additionally, the actors play out their roles in a stellar way. The entire film is deeply intense. Elements of disturbing nature are present throughout. Nazi concentration camps, children drowning, gore, blood, and corpses, to name a few.

DiCaprio in Shutter Island
Leonardo DiCaprio as Edward Daniels in Shutter Island

DiCaprio’s acting is just absolutely fantastic. His character, Teddy Daniels, evokes a sense of helplessness. There are no hints as to where the missing woman could be. Teddy does not have the slightest idea where to start looking either. He also has a hidden motive for his visit to the island. Sudden flashes of Nazi camps, migraines, and visions of his late wife make his job harder. Far stranger things are also taking place inside the island too. The walls are slowly closing in.

Ending explained

Teddy reaches the lighthouse of the island to look for his partner Chuck. He finds Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley) inside. Cawley tells Teddy that he is their “most dangerous patient”, who was prisoned for killing his wife Dolores after she drowned their three children. Dolores had been suffering from bipolar disorder. She had set fire to the apartment in which they lived. Shortly, after they moved to a lake house where the drowning took place. Teddy’s real name is Andrew Laeddis, an anagram for Edward Daniels. Cawley further explains that Teddy had attacked George Noyce for calling him “Laeddis” two weeks earlier. He says that this entire investigation is actually a test to cure his insanity by allowing him to live as Teddy Daniels for two weeks. The entire staff was in on it, and so were Teddy’s partner and the missing woman, Rachel Solando.

Ben Kingsley plays the role of the facility's leading psychiatrist, Dr. John Cawley
Ben Kingsley plays the role of the facility’s leading psychiatrist, Dr. John Cawley

Andrew’s hallucinations were symptoms of withdrawal from his medication. A little girl who he constantly dreamt, about was in fact, his daughter, Rachel. Cawley tells Andrew he will be lobotomized that if his condition regresses again. A while later, Andrew’s partner Chuck realizes that Andrew has again regressed. Before leaving, Andrew asks Chuck if it would be worse “to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”

In all, Shutter Island is a work of art that is unapologetic in nature. Although, it does need to be seen a few times to recognize its entire greatness. The director has taken an unrestrained approach, equally matched by the work of the actors on the silver screen.

Jayanth Andrew

Running on football, caffeine and videogames

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Vishakha

    This is great! 😍

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