Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SHUTTER ISLAND (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

***
USA



When you watch Orson Welles’ “The Trial”, you are startled and beguiled by Welles’ baroque pyrotechnics and formal mastery, but you also get the sense that Welles read and understood Kafka's novel. Scorsese on the other hand, gives you the sense that he watched “The Trial” twenty times, didn't particularly understand what it's about, but thought it was moody and cool, so he set out to make a textureless, meaningless but infinitely more expensive rehash, shrouded in the ever-fashionable veneer of dark macho profundity with a Twist.

That said, oh what fun it is to watch $100-million (plus marketing costs) materialise into something so abstract, so inarticulately ambitious, so aggresively and (alas) pretentiously arty. It's unquestionably a failure, but it's a strange, arresting failure. You don't want to see this kind of thing happen again, but it's kind of hilarious and exciting to see it happen at all.

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3 Comments:

At 4:58 PM , Blogger Paul Martin said...

I've read reviews that appreciate the film more than you, Goran, and perhaps have helped me to appreciate it more than I did. Still, I can't help but nod in agreement your sentiments. I'm left kind of shaking my head and wondering what Scorsese is trying to achieve. We know he's a masterful film-maker and the film demonstrates his ability, but what's the point?

it's a strange, arresting failure. You don't want to see this kind of thing happen again, but it's kind of hilarious and exciting to see it happen at all.

Well put.

 
At 11:03 PM , Blogger Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I think the healthiest move for Scorsese right now would be to ditch the $100M+ budgets and - more urgently - ditch DiCaprio.

 
At 5:21 AM , Blogger Paul Martin said...

Now that's an arresting idea. I'd like to see what he could do on say $5M with unknown actors. He could surprise us, something he hasn't done (in a postive way) for over a decade.

 

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