3 September 2012

Why Are You All Wet, Baby?

Sometimes having a twist at the end of a film is a great idea; Who'd have thought it was the cripple? They were they same person all along? So Sarah Jessica Parker wasn't a horse? Twists are clever little devices that make a film seem smarter and change the context of everything. The trick to a good twist is to therefore allow the film to stand up to repeat viewings with the audience’s fresher perspective. A good example of this would be Christopher Nolan’s Memento in which we find out who has been giving Lenny the duff information regarding John G.
When the culprit is revealed, it is both shocking, logical and character building. Although if you're going to give dodgy facts, why hint towards killing John G? If it was me, I'd tattoo clues like ‘fired as editor from the Daily Mirror’, ‘name P. Morgan’, ‘face like a lesbian toad that's been moulded onto a fresh poo’.

However, in the same way as having a cock shaped like a pigs tail, a twist at the end isn't always a nice surprise. A bad example would be finding out that Bruce Willis was a ghost all along. I know we were all impressed by that the first time around but the more you watch The 6th Sense the stupider it seems. For a start, if he is dead then how did he find out about the kid’s need for a psychologist and why was the kid not seeing a real psychologist too? And secondly, how did he not notice that since being shot by the nudist nutter, nobody has spoken one word to him. If I was Bruce Willis and I walked the streets for more than two minutes without someone shouting, “Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker” then it'd seem only logical I was as dead as a turd. In fact, I think the only person who shouldn't assume they're alive when ignored for so long is Tarantino and that's only because he seems to not shut the fuck up long enough to allow anybody else a word in edge ways.

Shutter Island is the fourth film to be directed by Scorsese and star DiCaprio who since 2002 seems to have been prescribed like methadone to wean him off heavy doses of DeNiro. The story begins in 1954 with DiCaprio's Teddy Daniels heading towards a large prison island which unfortunately doesn't mean he's on his jollies to Australia. Instead he's about to investigate a mental asylum for a prisoner who has allegedly escaped their cell and disappeared. In charge of this island is the chameleonic Ben Kingsley who is once again physically unrecognisable. This time Sir Ben has cunningly taken on the guise of a bald man with a large nose and a little goatee beard.

As Teddy investigates the island he starts to suspect there is a larger conspiracy at play. It seems that each clue he uncovers points to the Asylum actually being a cover for holocaust-like experimentations. This is a theory which seems to be confirmed in Teddy's mind by the appearance of acting legend Max Von Sydow. Personally I think the most suspicious thing about Sydow is that he hasn't aged a fucking day since about 1973. However, what grabs Teddy's attention is that he speaks with a German accent and.. so.. therefore, must be a Nazi. To be fair whenever we meet a German, that is what we all think isn't it? Even if I was talking to the German humanitarian of the year as they received a pre-death saint hood, I'd still be picturing them with a toothbrush moustache and a swastika arm patch.

It's not that I think all Germans are Nazis but that I can't help but associate the two. In fact the last time I met a German the first thing I did was wave in a manner which I couldn't help but think accidentally looked like a Nazi salute. Meanwhile my friend tried to impress them by speaking the German phrase, “Arbeit macht frei”. In English that means, “Work sets you free” which, as he realised too late, was the slogan above the gates to Auschwitz. I guess we just kept putting our foot in it which is a little bit different to Teddy who seems to want Sydow to be condemned at the Nuremberg trial for simply having a bit of an accent.

Teddy however has a genuine excuse for his more violent out bursts of racism having witnessed first hand the atrocities of a concentration camp. In fact, it's Teddy’s flashbacks and hallucinations which prove to be the most interesting aspects of the film. Not only is he traumatised by his experiences of World War 2 he is also haunted by the memory of his now dead partner. Once again Michelle Williams pops up as a pain in the arse wife having perfected the role of rent-a-frump in both Brokeback Mountain and Blue Valentine. This also makes her the first of two dead wives to haunt DiCaprio's subconscious after Marion Cotillard wouldn't fuck off in Inception. I guess this just proves that it's true when Louis C.K. says that, “Women are non-violent but they will shit inside of your heart”.

In all honesty, everything about Shutter Island is great. It's a well made throw away B-movie with great acting, a suitably gloomy mood and a cool 1950's Hitchcock kind of look to it. It sort of exists in that little genre somewhere between thriller and horror. On the one hand it's a mystery movie and on the other it's set in an asylum where Ted Levine is a prison guard. You know if Silence of the Lambs’  Buffalo Bill is one of the sane ones then the inmates must be pretty fucking mental. There is in fact one scene in which the power goes down and they are all released from their cells. It's a bit like that scene in Jurassic Park but instead of dinosaurs running around, it’s people who like to paint pictures with shit and masturbate to their granny’s knickers.

If there's one thing that could make or break this film it is the inevitable twist at the end. For anyone who hasn't seen this movie then I'm about to ruin it for you so please stop reading. Seriously if you haven't seen Shutter Island and you're still here then just fuck off! What kind of cunt happily ruins a film for themselves? If you're up to this sentence and have never seen Shutter Island then I officially hate you. I bet you're the kind of cunt who goes hunting for their Christmas presents and can't keep a secret. Well, I've got a secret for you, your Mum has AIDs and she caught it from slipping your granddad’s warty cock up her arse. The twist is that not only did she love every second of it but your granddad caught AIDs from you when he cradle-fucked you as a baby.

For those who have seen the film, then of course that above paragraph doesn't apply to you. I'm sure your mothers have never even slept with your granddads, let alone been sodomised by them. Anywho, so as it turns out, Teddy has been a crazy all along and Sir Ben has given him the freedom of the grounds to live out his detective fantasy. Now… is it just me or is that also a little bit mental? I mean, where did Sir Ben learn his managerial skills? When I was in school, the headmaster asked me to pick a half eaten hardboiled egg out of a play-ground grid with my bare hands. Just that act alone made me want to tell the cunt to get fucked and do it himself. So how Sir Ben managed to convince his staff to free one of their violent inmates, allow him to run around in a frenzy and suspect them all to be Nazis I'll never know. As Teddy first arrives at the island he say's, “You seem a little on edge Marshall”. I'm not fucking surprised he's on edge. There's a freak running around inventing a holocaust conspiracy and the boss has clearly gone fucking nuts too. If I worked on that island, I'd have the unions so far up Sir Ben's arse that they were wearing him like a Gandhi condom.

In a way, the twist doesn't really work because it's just so stupid. However the film still survives its repeat viewing simply because the characters are so strong. It's also worth it just for the moment Sir Ben randomly asks Teddy, “Why are you all wet, baby?” I'm not sure about that sexy bald beast but where I'm from that's an awfully personal question to ask a psycho with a gun. For more of Sir Ben's randomness, fans may want to check out Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Not only does that include him sharply turning his head like a fucking meerkat on acid but he also shouts, “Quickly” with a tone that can only come from a man about four seconds away from shitting his pants.

For any other director, this film might be like a day off from work. With its B-movie sensibilities, it could easily be cheap and not worth a repeat, however Scorsese shows as much care and craftsmanship here as when he's making films in which Jo Pesci explodes into fits of what doctors call ‘violent cunt syndrome’ (VCS). Yes it's a little bit silly but it's also good fun. Even when the story might be a little bit unbelievable, the emotions of the characters are convincingly legitimate. The film ends with DiCaprio heading for a lobotomy. If this was Leo with his brain then I'm assuming his character in the sequel will be intellectually on par with the Leo who thought Titanic would end up being a decent movie. Despite the twist, which says more about Sir Ben's judgement than Teddy's sanity, this film is still worth a watch. It might not be up there with Raging Bull but it's good to see Scorsese isn't resting on his laurels in quite the same way that his former muse De Niro is. If you've got a spare few hours and want to see film featuring another one of DiCaprio's disastrous on-screen marriages, then this is the film for you.

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