7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The King of Tragedy,
This review is from: Shutter Island [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
There are very definite, though not immediately obvious, parallels between "Shutter Island" and Martin Scorsese's much earlier work The King Of Comedy  [DVD]. I don't want to go into to much detail on this point - lest I spoil the film for those who haven't seen it - but for now, let's just say that Scorsese is a master of blurring the lines between fantasy and reality in the minds of some of his characters. Disappointingly though, "Shutter Island" lacks the ambiguity of KoC since, by contrast the ending is, pretty much, a full stop.
Not a perfect film (there are a few minor holes in the plot - some of which could have been quite easily plugged) but still, a very well constructed one. The casting of the two main roles could perhaps have been more inventive - instead the supporting actors Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow and Ted Levine (as "The Warden") steal the show.
The cinematography and special effects are, arguably, derivative of Kubrick's The Shining [Blu-ray]  - although personally I would say that Scorsese's technique here pays tribute to, and builds upon, Kubrick's technique as opposed to merely ripping it off. The horror/gothic aspect works perfectly (although only a 15 rating). There is a genuine inescapable queasiness, nightmarish feel to the film, without the director ever having to resort to the gratuitous sensationalism of (far too many) lesser horror films. This is coupled with a pervading sense of sadness and isolation - ultimately the central theme.
Best of all is the soundtrack - which is a 10/10 for me and has probably in itself bumped up my rating by at least half a star. It is easily on a par with Peter Gabriel's score for (yet another Scorsese picture) The Last Temptation of Christ [DVD]. It just fits perfectly without trying to impress (which it does) or intrude (Mr Tarantino?)
The Blu Ray print is excellent too (on my, by modern standards, very modest 26" TV).
Definitely an ideal first Blu Ray purchase (which, for me, this was).