The film is based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. Director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who had worked together on three films, were both attracted to Shutter Island as their next collaboration.
The film is about two U.S. marshals who investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane on an island in Massachusetts. They run into trouble when they are deceived by the hospital’s chief administrator, a hurricane hits and an inmate riot traps them on the island. The setting of the film was in 1954.
In Total Film magazine, Scorsese says one of his influences on the film was Orson Welles‘ 1962 film The Trial — an adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel — in particular its use of corridors, tunnels, claustrophobic ceilings, and angular lenses. He also discusses the importance of costume choices as an element of characterization, noting that a striking choice can leave a subconscious imprint of a character’s essence in the spectator’s mind: in Shutter Island, he made Dr. Cawley smoke a pipe, and in some scenes of the film he seems covered by a cloud of smoke, hiding something, with an aura of malice and mystery.
Also starring in the film are Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max von Sydow, Jackie Earle Haley, Ted Levine, John Carroll Lynch, Elias Koteas and Patricia Clarkson.
Shutter Island hits theaters on February 19, 2010.
VIDEO LINK: Shutter Island HD Trailer