” is one of those psychological thrillers that will send chills down your
spine. It defies
categorization: it’s not
really a horror movie, though the monsters within certainly rear their ugly
faces. It’s not really a
romance, though one of the core pieces of the puzzle is the grief-stricken
love between the main character, played by Leonardo De Caprio, and his late
wife, played by Michelle Williams, who makes ghostlike, haunting appearances
throughout. Ben Kingsley is
impeccable and unimpeachable as the psychiatrist who seems both sincere and
cryptic at the same time. They’re
running some kind of strange experiment here, and though he appears to be
forthright and charming, he’s obviously not telling everything he knows.
The setting is 1954, a remote island
outside Boston Harbor, used as a prison for the criminally insane, that can
only be accessed by ferry, and then only once a day.
It’s almost like crossing the River Styx----the ferryman seems
preoccupied, is in a hurry to drop you off quickly, and you may very well
never see him again. There’s
a huge storm brewing outside, sideways, gale-force winds---but inside the
compound there are psychological storms of a different order.
We have disturbing dream sequences, threats of violence and hazy
remembrances of foul play. We
flashback to the death camp that was
. We think we are solving a
case of disappearance, but there’s much more to the investigation than
meets the eye. De Caprio’s
character initially suffers from vertigo and disorientation on the ferry
boat ride, but landing on the island doesn’t seem to help his sickness and
confusion. What’s going on
Well, to tell you any more would give
away too much of the plot, if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid
hearing preemptory revelations already.
De Caprio is at his dramatic prime here, and the story, while dark
and foreboding, is sufficiently complex to engage the intelligent viewer.
Fasten your seat belts. It’s
going to be a bumpy ride.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace