Friday, February 19, 2010

A Movie For ClinkShrink

Perhaps the most disturbing movie I've ever seen.

So we start with the ferry ride to Shutter Island where two federal agents are headed to a a particularly creepy hospital for the criminally insane to search for an escapee--- a mother who drowned her three children and who has now "evaporated" from her locked cell. The story revolves around the haunted character of Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) whose flashbacks and dreams pave the story: his role in the liberation of a Nazi death camp & the horrifying death of his young wife in a fire. The movie is dark, it is set on an island during a hurricane, in a hospital built during the Civil War, with Ben Kingsley in a bow tie playing the polite but devious head psychiatrist. In every scene, things are falling: rain, snow, papers swirling, ashes, unknown particles. It's compelling and confusing, all at the same time. The plot twists and weaves, and by the end the reality was a bit of a jumble. What really happened? We didn't agree, and when we caught dinner after, the couples at the next table were having the same discussion.

Not exactly a positive view of psychiatry, but this one was so much about the twists of the plot, that it hardly seems worth worrying about the portrayal of our profession. And "disturbing" : the storyline itself was not terribly disturbing, but the images of dead children left me very unsettled. I'll leave the full analysis to ClinkShrink....and no plot spoilers here.