17 August 2012
Book vs. Film – Shutter Island
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
Almost every movie ever made was originally a book. Just looking at how many movies that were originally books would surprise you. Although both the movie and the book contain the same storyline, there are always differences between the two. Some book and movie versions have more differences than other book and movie versions do. Some movies may even change scenes around, create new scenes, and even change a few characters. Other movies may just leave out some details and some scenes, like Shutter Island (Scorsese), a 2003 novel by Dennis Lehane, and the 2010 movie version of it from Paramount Pictures, directed by Martin Scorsese. Despite these differences, both the book and the movie have the same storyline. In late summer 1954, U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner, Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), travel to Shutter Island, which is where Ashcliff Hospital for the Criminally Insane is located. They are there to investigate an escaped patient by the name of Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer). As they are investigating her disappearance, it becomes clear to Teddy that the staff know more than what they are telling. Some patients point to the fact that the doctors may be performing experimental surgeries on patients in the island’s lighthouse, specifically the transorbital lobotomy. Teddy also believes that the doctors are trying to trap Teddy and his partner there to make them wards of the hospital. Throughout these four days, Teddy begins to have mysterious dreams involving his wife, Dolores Chanal (Michelle Williams), who died in a house fire. Some of his dreams even involve a little girl (Ruby Jerins) that Teddy does not recognize. As Teddy investigates the island, it leads him to the lighthouse where the head doctor, Dr. Crawley (Ben Kingsley), reveals to Teddy that he has been living in a fantasy world. Teddy’s real name is Andrew Laeddis and he has been a patient of Ashcliff Hospital for two years. Dr. Crawley says that the staff at the hospital played along with the fantasy to bring him out of it. His partner Chuck Aule is really his primary psychiatrist, Dr. Lester Sheehan. Rachel Solando, who is also made up from Teddy’s/Andrew’s fantasy, is really a nurse named Emily, whose name is not mentioned in the movie. Crawley and Sheehan tell Teddy/Andrew that he and Dolores had three children and that Dolores was manic depressive. Going crazy one day, she drowned their kids and in grief, Andrew shot her. He was partly to blame for what happened since he had not listened to anybody’s advice on getting his wife help earlier. So he created a fantasy where he was a hero. Refusing to accept this as reality at first, Teddy/Andrew has dreams that night of what really happened, like how he once had kids and that his manic depressive wife drowned them. At this point, Teddy realizes that he is really Andrew Laeddis. When this breakthrough is made, Dr. Crawley tells him that this breakthrough was made before but that he regressed. Would Andrew regress again? This storyline as told is the same in both the book and the movie. But still, as always with any story, the book contains more information than the movie. So although there were not any major changes, the movie leaves out scenes like the journal of Dr. Lester Sheehan in 1993, Teddy as a kid fishing with his father, along with some dreams and flashbacks that are either shortened or completely cut.
To start with, the first thing that was in the book, which was left out in the movie, was Dr. Lester Sheehan’s journal. The book actually began with this. As said before, Dr. Sheehan pretended to be Chuck Aule because he was playacting, with the other Ashcliff staff members, in Teddy’s (Andrew’s) fantasy). Since this is the beginning of the novel, that part is not revealed yet. His journals are from 1993, where he and his wife, Emily, are in poor...
Cited: Novel: Lehane, Dennis. Shutter Island. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. 1-369. Print.
Film: Scorsese, Martin, dir. Shutter Island. Paramount Pictures, 2010. Film. 5 Sep 2012.
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