Sunday, November 6, 2011

Shutter Island

the Book
Shutter Island
Written by Dennis Lehane in 2003
Rating: ★★★★★ Couldn't put it down!

What it's about:  

When a dangerous mental patient escapes Ashecliffe, a remote mental hospital on Shutter Island, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, two U.S. Marshals, cross the Boston harbor to investigate.

Teddy has waited almost two years for an excuse to go to Ashecliffe ever since the man who murdered his wife was committed there, and the missing patient is the perfect reason.  If he can confront Andrew Laeddis, he will finally be able to let his wife go. 

Upon their initial investigation, it quickly becomes apparent that the staff is keeping something from them.  How can a woman escape a locked room with guards at every exit, unless she had help?  Furthermore, Rachel Solando, the missing patient, has left clues suggesting that there is another missing person, a 67th patient - a subject that makes the staff uncomfortable and no one will talk about it.

Teddy continues his search for Rachel.  Meanwhile, he suspects Ashecliffe is a corrupt institution and is determined to find evidence to bring it down.  But when the staff begins to suspect he knows something and his partner goes missing, Teddy fears he will never be able to get off the island alive. 

Why I LOVED it:

Dennis Lehane leads you along a thrilling story that ends with an unforgettable twist.  Never a dull moment, Shutter Island, is one of those books that you just can’t put down.  The grief and love that Teddy feels for his late wife is tangible and heart breaking.  The doubt and fear the characters experience is chilling.  Lehane writes with mystery and reveals the truth in a timely, unpredictable way. 

Shutter Island (2010) (R)
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Rating: ★★★ A Must See!

Differences between the movie and book: 

Very little changed in the movie from the book, except a few details were left out.  This is evidence that the book is a good fit for the big screen.  It is well-written and a fast-paced page turner.  You will notice one subtle, albeit significant, change at the very end.  But you'll have to discover it yourself! 
Why I LOVED it:

This work has genius written all over it.  First, it is based off a book written by a literary genius.  Then you have Martin Scorsese directing (who also directed The Departed and The Aviator, two amazing films, incidentally also starring Leonardo DiCaprio).  Scorsese knows what to take out and what to keep. You will notice striking similarities between descriptions and dialogue in the book transferred into the movie. He is the epitome of a fantastic director, upholding the integrity of the original piece but still adding his impression with creative nuances. To improve perfection, genius actor Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the film. His performance is exemplary. DiCaprio convincingly delivers emotion unlike any other actor of this time.

I strongly suggest that you read this book and watch the movie. Personally, I watched the movie when it first came out, then decided to read the book because of how great the movie was. You will not be disappointed by Dennis Lehane if you read the book. Lehane is also the author of Mystic River, which is another Book/Movie combo that I have added to my list of upcoming reviews.  

Up Next . . . The Devil Wears Prada

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