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The Leonardo DiCaprio Thriller That's Killing It On Amazon Video

2010 was a notable year in the career of Leonardo DiCaprio. While most people tend to focus on the juggernaut success of the Christopher Nolan film Inception, DiCaprio actually starred in another movie that year, which also features a legendary director and a mind-warping plot — Shutter Island. Over a decade after its theatrical release, people are coming out in droves to watch the 2010 thriller from Marvel movie-hater Martin Scorsese on Amazon Prime Video.

Shutter Island is hardly the only movie DiCaprio and Scorsese have worked on together. By the time it came out, they'd already done Gangs of New York, The Aviator, and The Departed as a dynamic duo, and they went on to collaborate on The Wolf of Wall Street just a few years later. However, what makes Shutter Island really stand out among all those projects is that it's much more of a mystery and a thriller than anything the two men had worked on in the past. Unlike Inception, Shutter Island hasn't been talked about to death, so it's easier to come at it with a fresh pair of eyes.

Shutter Island, in brief, is a story about U.S. Marshall Edward "Teddy" Daniels (DiCaprio) and his investigation into the disappearance of a patient from an island-sized psychiatric facility. As you might imagine, not everything is quite what it seems. So what happens when DiCaprio and Scorsese do a Wicker Man-type story? And why are people leaping all over Shutter Island now?

The surprising continued relevance of Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a movie about questioning the nature of our own reality. While Teddy begins his investigation of the island in a seemingly stable place, the more time passes, the more he unravels. Eventually, he unravels completely. In a way, Teddy is a really harrowing stand-in for most of us in 2020. We've all, in some way or other, been trapped on an island (be that metaphorical or literal), trying to understand the truth of our circumstances, and finding that it's very easy to fall into delusional thinking as we struggle to reach equilibrium.

An interesting piece of history concerning Shutter Island relates to the plaque Teddy and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) pass on the way to the facility. The plaque reads: "Remember us, for we too have lived, loved and laughed." The inscription comes from the real-life Medfield Vine Lake Cemetery. Those words are on a stone marker in the cemetery, specifically in reference to the people who died from the Spanish flu during the 1918 influenza epidemic. So, while most people won't realize the connection between Shutter Island and our collective circumstances over the last year, it's very much there.

It's also interesting to note that there were supposed to be both a TV series and a video game based on Shutter Island. Who knows — maybe if the movie gets a big enough rewatch, we'll see one or both of those materialize. In the meantime, it seems as though a neo-noir thriller is exactly what audiences are looking for as they step into 2021, hoping to find escape from their own islands.

Shutter Island is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now.