Grant Mitchell

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Martin Scorsese has had a long career of being a filmmaker in Hollywood because he is among the greatest to ever do it. 

Unfortunately, 2010’s “Shutter Island,” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley was an absolute letdown to the greatest degree. 

Look at the trailer, watch the first ten minutes of the film and you have a tremendous amount of hope that this is going to be a great movie. 

Watch any more than the promotional featurettes for “Shutter Island,” and, god forbid, watch the entire two hour and 18-minute movie and you will lose all of the excitement and anticipation you once had for this one. 

The film isn’t a bad movie, let me just say that. 

The movie is just meh. That is the whole problem that I, and everyone, else have with “Shutter Island.”

The reason why I emphasize the featurettes, Martin Scorsese being great and these other little nitpicky things to start is because “Shutter Island,” really had the opportunity to be one of the best psychological-thriller films ever. 

Just look at the premise of the film, Leo’s character is a detective diving into the inner recesses of a remote and eerie psychiatric hospital where suspicious activity and odd moments of remembrance lead Leo’s character to ponder his character’s true situation at the hospital. 

Is he investigating a crime at the mental hospital, going down a road he should tread lightly upon because the hospital and maybe even his partner Mark Ruffalo are hiding things from him or is DiCaprio is himself in a state of psychosis and not really investigating what he thinks he is. 

All of these are really interesting topics and ideas for a film to cover. Add to that the facts that Scorsese is the film’s director, the cast is as talented as it is and the hospital feels similar to the hotel in “The Shining,” because of its unnerving nature and you should have a slam dunk great, or at least very entertaining, film. 

Again, this was not the case. 

While opportunity was certainly there, “Shutter Island,” never felt like it really followed through on any of the interesting breadcrumbs left for its filmmakers. 

What instead happened was “Shutter Island,” came out feeling less like a hardboiled detective film placed in a creepy old mental hospital and more like an undercooked Christopher Nolan inspired film with a big twist at the end. 

One of the problems with “Shutter Island,” beyond it not really exploring on an effective level its interesting ideas for the plot, is also in that the film muddled up real opportunities for threat or danger for its characters. 

The way I feel like “Shutter Island,” did that is mostly because this R-rated film feels like it was made for mass audiences and had to pull out a lot of meat in order to condense the film to a more appropriate for mass consumption level. 

That’s what hurts me the most about this whole mess, the fact that “Shutter Island,” had everything going for it but just couldn’t mount the handicap I believe was placed on it, because it didn’t have a lot of the mobility even as an R-rated film distinction. 

I could be wrong on that, but when watching the film, it feels like the best parts of the film were left on the cutting room floor and that a far better cut of the movie actually exists out there somewhere. 

Grant Mitchell is a junior majoring in public relations. He can be reached at gmitch16@vols.utk.edu.

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