February 25, 2010 Volume CXXVII Issue 4

A psychological rollercoaster

Staff Writer

The effect that “Shutter Island” had on me was one that I had not experienced for a long time while watching a movie—it made me think. Too often we as audience members simply sit back and let the scenes unfold to predetermined events, typically illustrating simple plots that we have already figured out the ends to, thus giving us reason out of boredom to find as many excuses to either grab something from the concession stand or aimlessly text on our phones (which a good movie should never make you do), rendering us with a need to escape escapism.

This is not the case for “Shutter Island,” as it would seem the movie not only tempts your attention but grabs it, not letting it go until all of its secrets are uncovered, and even then leaving you with an ending that is up to your own interpretation. Directed by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese, “Shutter Island” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who, with his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), has been sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a patient in a hospital for the criminally insane. Upon arrival, however, complications arise not only in the cooperation of the hospital’s chief psychiatrist (Ben Kingsley), but in a hurricane as well, forcing a prolonged stay for the two marshals.

The plot thickens as a note is found in the missing patient’s room that points to the existence of a 67th patient (as opposed to the official 66), setting forth a search for his location, but this is only one of the many secrets that “Shutter Island” seems to be hiding. Equally mysterious is Teddy Daniels himself, a man that seems to be haunted by the horrors of his past. While the word “scary” is not a word I would use to describe “Shutter Island,” I most certainly assure you that the more appropriate description would be disturbing, and rightfully so.

There aren’t any gags to get the audience to jump (not intentionally anyway) or scream but you will most definitely squirm and feel uncomfortable. Most of the film is, after all, set in a mental hospital. The feeling of unease even goes beyond what is visually presented in the film. The dialogue from certain characters and in certain contexts alone is enough to paint an unpleasant picture. This is a very effective script in terms of conveying the entire atmosphere, perhaps even going a little too far at times, given the fact that on several occasions I had a friend turn to me with a Do-you-believe-they-just-said-what-they-said-look on his face.

The story, while not hard to follow, is surprisingly complex for a “thriller,” especially one for this date and time. There were times when I had thought I had the movie figured out, only to have my preconceived notions shattered in the next five minutes, which for a viewer is frustrating and secretly enjoyable, because then and there I knew this movie was going to make me work to understand it. By the time the credits rolled, I was a little mentally exhausted (for reasons I will not divulge, don’t want to spoil anything) by how many twists and turns the film had presented, leaving me thinking about what had happened well into the car ride home.

Scorsese has selected a rather impressive cast with his newest feature, teaming up with DiCaprio once more (this being his fourth film with Scorsese at the helm) as a strong lead. “Shutter Island” may not have the most popular actors in terms of constantly being on the news or on the cover of tabloids, but it certainly has some of the best. Kingsley, like always, is a real treat to behold due to his devotion to the character. Mark Ruffalo is surprisingly effective even going beyond what would be perceived as a supporting character to DiCaprio, establishing an individual on screen who is independent enough to lack the need to complement someone else.

Another notable feature of the film is that it is a period piece, landing its setting in the early fifties. Shutter Island is not genre changing as much as it is refining, giving us a more mature movie than what we have come to expect in terms of pacing as well as plot. Watching it a second time will be much more rewarding as things dismissed in the first viewing will be recognizable a second time through. Over all, this film takes you on a memorable journey into the darkest and most desolate place imaginable—the human mind.

ArtLAB explodes in the LRC

Contributing Writer

You know that hallway that stands straight ahead as you walk in the LRC? You may have seen a large fireman standing outside of it at one point in time. Not many students, except those who have artwork displayed there, know that it is the Cochenour Gallery. The current exhibit is called ArtLAB. Throughout this week and those following until April 1, students of various art classes offered by Daniel Graham, Darrell Kincer and Boris Zakic will have their work displayed in Cochenour Gallery.

From now through the rest of the week, Professor Graham’s Printmaking and 3D Design students will have their first projects displayed and next week seniors from the art department will have their work available.

March 8 through 22, as you make your way past the reference rooms and T3 center of the LRC, you may recognize some of the artwork even if you don’t know the artists. Kincer’s Graphic Design class will be featuring their second major projects. “It will be on logo and brand identity design for local organizations and businesses,” Kincer said.

From March 22 to April 1, Zakic’s students will have their work on display for the student body. If you make your way straight ahead past the reference room or the T3 center for a few minutes before you get to work on whatever else the LRC has in store for you, you’ll find a pile of note cards and a few pencils that ask you to leave a comment for the students about their work. So now that you know the hallway straight ahead holds something more than just a few lights, make your way there first and let the students of the art department know you’ve been there.


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