“Shutter Island” is a deeply psychological movie produced by Martin Scorsese. The movie is involving as there are numerous famous actors, and the evolvement of the plot is very interesting. The spectators are kept in tension and interest through the whole movie as the dénouement appears to be absolutely unexpected.
Leonardo Dicaprio performs magnificently and skillfully. His character, Marshall Teddy Daniels, goes to the Shutter Island to find an escapee from Ashcliffe Insane Asylum. Teddy Daniels and his companion Chuck start their investigation. Everything seems strange and suspicious on the island. There are lots of questions and distrust in Teddy’s head. Moreover, he suffers from headache and constant hallucinations. Teddy tells his partner how he lost his children and wife, and, finally, confesses about his truthful reason of coming to the island – to find a man who set his house on fire.
As the plot evolves, the spectators notice lots of interesting details and nuances. When the ending comes out, everything becomes clear. Teddy turns out to be a patient at the asylum. He suffers from Delusional Disorder. He created his own world to escape the realm of his life and past deeds. In order to forget about his experience at war, lots of dead innocent people, the death of his wife and children, he creates a completely new person in his consciousness. His imagination produces a new name with a new name, past and present. The doctors, on the other hand, believe that with the help of the role play they can cure Andrew Laeddis. Dr. Cowley and Dr. Sheehan hope that they will manage to pull Andrew out from his fantasy into reality: that Andrew’s wife Dolores killed their children and he murdered his wife in return. Andrew, actually, feels guilt as he knew about his wife psychological problems and did nothing to improve her health.
So, Andrew Laeddis is the 67th patient. The doctors carry out an experiment where Andrew is the main hero. As he is delusional, he believes in the story of Marshal Teddy Daniels. Dr. Sheehan pretends his partner Chuck and accompanies him everywhere. Furthermore, everyone on the island plays their role. Andrew is constantly addressed as Marshal to make him truly believe in the story. Moreover, even the woman whom Teddy finds in the cave is not real. She pretends to be an escapee, but she is part of the experiment. Otherwise, how can she know that Teddy is Marshal if he did not tell her?
When Teddy comes to the lighthouse, he does not understand what is going on and continues to play his role. He hardly believes what he is told, but when the evidence is obvious Teddy is confused. It was not the first time the doctors tried to cure Andrew. The experiment would have been a success if Andrew had acknowledged the truth.
The next day he wakes up and tells the truthful story of his life. The doctors see this and understand that they have succeeded. However, Andrew’s pain is so deep that he cannot live with it anymore. When Dr. Sheehan speaks to him the next day, Andrew pretends Teddy again knowing that there are so many men watching them. He chooses lobotomy than life with such a burden. His words “living as a monster, or dying as a good man” prove that.
Andrew Laeddis is mentally ill and there is lots of evidence in the movie. The whole stuff of the asylum is made to participate in the experiment. The guardians always observe Andrew attentively keeping their guns firmly as he approaches. That is why, they are not so enthusiastic about finding Rachel Solando, because it is a fiction. Even the patients participate. The only person who wants to help Andrew is the patient who seemed to be normal to him. She wrote “Run” in his notebook as she knew that it was the game.
I think that Martin Scorsese uses fire ashes to refer to fantasy or hallucinations and water to denote reality. Water attaches the island and keeps Teddy there. Rain and storm serve to distort the reality. Finally, the lake house is the place where everything bad happened.