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His dark materials

Who would have thought that Martin Scorcese, a master of loud violence and the maker of bloody classics such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and The Departed, would come up with a taut masterpiece as dark as the best of David Lynch?

movie reviews Updated: Sep 04, 2010 02:20 IST
Shutter Island

Shutter Island
Reliance BIG Home, Rs 599
Rating: ****


Who would have thought that Martin Scorcese, a master of loud violence and the maker of bloody classics such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and The Departed, would come up with a taut masterpiece as dark as the best of David Lynch?

It's not very subtle, though. From the moment US marshall Teddy Daniels and his junior Chuck Aule set foot on Shutter Island, the music and the camera push you towards the seat's edge. The duo is investigating the disappearance of an inmate from the Ashecliffe psychiatric hospital for the 'criminally insane', a set of people who have no place on the planet except on this inescapable island. As the probe progresses, Daniels's dark past comes to light and what seemed to be clear gets darker by the sequence. Soon you're not sure whom to trust — the driven-and-desperate Leo DiCaprio as Teddy, the warm-and-helpful Mark Ruffalo as Chuck, the convincing-and-concerned Ben Kingsley as Dr Cawley, or the cold-and-menacing Max von Sydow as Dr Naehring.

Though most of the real dhishoom and dhichkeaow in this story by Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River) happens in the past and in the mind, Scorcese shows in just one scene that he's one of the most skilled fetishists of violence. When the guards of the just-freed Dachau concentration camp are shot en masse, they fall in possibly the most beautifully choreographed heap.

This one's watched best when no one can disturb you and no lights are on.