Film Analysis Of Martin Scorsese's 'Shutter Island'

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“Shutter Island” is a 2010 psychological thriller directed by award-winning American filmmaker Martin Scorsese set in 1950s Boston. Based on author Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, it pays homage to the film noir genre and portrays the story of Andrew Laeddis (played by Oscar winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio): a mentally deranged man who, due to his tragic past and actions, is fully convinced he is a US marshal named Edward “Teddy” Daniels on Shutter Island to investigate the alleged disappearance of an inmate from the local mental institution. The film explores Teddy’s inability to grasp reality and accept responsibility in the murder of his wife and 3 children and in the end truly depicts the brutal physical treatments enforced on mentally ill individuals at the time.

Scorsese makes expert use of camera shots and angles to visualise teddy’s inescapable challenge. The techniques have a variety of purposes, such as demonstrating Teddy’s power (or lack thereof) and his feelings. A low angle shot near the beginning of the film establishes Teddy’s supposed dominance and power on the island. After searching the room of the missing patient Rachel Solando we see Teddy keeping a piece of paper for evidence while Dr Cawley, the psychiatrist running the asylum, is situated behind him, giving the impression of less control. A contrast is created with the high angle shot used in one of the film’s final scenes. As Teddy dramatically busts down the door to the lighthouse the
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