Concept: In the mid 1950′s a federal marshal (Teddy Daniels) goes to an insane asylum, to pursue an escaped fugitive, but quickly learns things may not be as simple as they seem. This is a psychological thriller film that keeps you on edge most of the time.
Acting: Leonardo Dicaprio does a great job as federal marshal Teddy Daniels here. Mark Ruffalo performs as Teddy’s partner Chuck. Ruffalo does a fantastic job as well. Both actors give off this excellent noire vibe too them.
Cinematography: Some of the shots in this film have this weird almost unreal like nature. You’ll notice some hiccups in the movie kind of like the shining. Little tricks to play with your mind. They seem to become more prevalent later in the movie. It also plays with the idea of just how sane is every character in this movie. What truly is sanity?
Direction: The way Scorsese directs in this film can’t truly be appreciated on the first viewing. The way the movie is structured and the way the scenes happen become even more apparent at how good they are on the second viewing. Scorsese is essentially a master director at this point in his career and it really shows here.
Score: The soundtrack is solid gold. The opening sequence is dark, heavy, and elegant. Reminiscent of Igor Stravinsky in some ways.The rest of the film continues this trend as things get more dark and sinister. It truly contributes to the atmosphere of this film. Although this is not my favorite Scorsese film, that is one thing it gets incredibly right, Atmosphere.
Opinion:I like this movie a lot. I wouldn’t really class it as a favorite of mine, but it is a great film none the less. I think it’s a must watch because it is kind of a experience. There isn’t a whole lot of complexity to the initial plot, and there are a few cinema sins in this movie (the invincible band-aid), but it’s a great time and gripping throughout.
Watch-ability: High. Demands 2 watches.
Overall Grade: B
A must watch. If you’re a Scorsese fan or a Leo Fan I’d recommend buying it for cheap, it may not be their best work but it is a great movie none the less. Sometimes simplicity through ¾ of the movie is all that’s needed I suppose.