I got around to watching Shutter Island. I am working on a book about the Boston underworld and Boston itself, and I am a local product. This movie ostensibly takes place on a hypothetical island in Boston Harbor, was naturally of some interest to me. While not at all a bad film, Shutter Island ‘s “Island” left me feeling flat.
I have kayaked the harbor a dozen times, rounded the Brewsters several times, and there is nothing out there that looks like Shutter Island in the movie. I don’t think one should film a movie set in Boston in Romania or on a sound stage or wherever. Shutter Island could be Maine, perhaps, with the big waves crashing on the cliffs. It wasn’t Boston Harbor. If you are using an exterior environment as part of the movie, don’t insult us. I must admit, if a director wants local color – or a writer does – then they must film or describe the actual locale. Don’t cheat. If Boston Harbor doesn’t have the requisite waves and cliffs, set the story in the Bay of Fundy or wherever.
Spoiler: It became clear to me halfway through that the Leonardo DiCaprio was in fact not who he pretended to be….The movie isn’t subtle and I hate films with too many dream sequences….