Shutter Island Review: What Does the Ending of Mean?

The meaning of the film Shutter Island (2009): explanation of the plot, ending. Released in 2009, Martin Scorsese’s detective thriller, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, made a lot of noise. Ultimately, the meaning of the film Shutter Island came down to one thing, whether the main character really turned out to be an ordinary lunatic or the idea was inspired by the doctors of a psychiatric hospital. So in one tape, several genres of detective, drama, thriller and gothic elements were skillfully intertwined at once.

Description of the story

At first glance, the plot of the film Shutter Island describes the work of Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio). Together with partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), they sail to the Ashcliff psychiatric hospital. The purpose of the arrival of detectives is to investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of the patients.

Banal at first glance, the case immediately takes a strange turn. The main character falls into the very epicenter of the intrigues and secrets of the island. In addition to the mysterious disappearance of the patient from the ward, the marshal is perplexed by several facts at once:

  • strange behavior of doctors, staff of a psychiatric clinic and a partner;
  • giggling of patients behind their backs;
  • wary, distrustful behavior of the guards, who, in theory, should willingly contribute to the investigation;
  • memorized speech of the most sane patients when giving evidence;
  • hallucinations, headaches and nightmares from nowhere. All this suggests that someone deliberately stuffs the main character with psychotropic drugs.

Everything convinces the marshal – the employees of the psychiatric hospital are guilty of the disappearance of a woman, putting brutal experiments on patients. During the investigation, the protagonist begins to suspect that the den of intruders – a secret laboratory is located on the lighthouse, where he ends up at the end of the film.

Interesting! Directed by Martin Scorsese, even before the premiere of the film, he promised a good box office due to the fact that most of the audience would want to see the picture twice. Many took it as a joke, although everything turned out exactly as the author of the tape predicted. The ending of the film Shutter Island made movie fans want to watch it a second time.

Ending and hidden meaning

The way the film ended Shutter Island was the reason for many viewers to reconsider not only the final scene, but the whole picture. Repeated playback of the tape makes you take a fresh look at the main character and clearly see all the illogicality of his actions.

final chord

In the finale, the armed hero Leonardo DiCaprio breaks into the abandoned premises of the island’s lighthouse, expecting to see the laboratory. There is no limit to surprise when he is met alone by the main suspect – Dr. Cowley. It is he who tells the marshal the terrible truth, he is actually not an official on duty, but an ordinary patient of the clinic.

Plus, he is dumbfounded by another bitter truth:

  • the missing patient is a figment of his diseased imagination;
  • his real name is Andrew Laddis;
  • he had a wife and three children;
  • the wife had serious mental problems and killed her children;
  • having killed her, Andrew could not bear the feeling of guilt and came up with a new reality for himself.

The whole meaning of the film Shutter Island is revealed in the finale of the tape. According to Dr. Cowley, Andrew Laddis had been under treatment at Ashcliff for two years. During his stay there, he did not differ in exemplary behavior. Therefore, most doctors offered to give him a lobotomy. Dr. Cowley decided to take the unprecedented step of having a patient live a fictional life in order to help Andy come to terms with reality. The doctor explained the hallucinations by stopping the necessary drugs.

On a note! A film adaptation of the novel was planned as early as 2003. But due to the tight schedule of the director, the picture was released only in 2009.

One out of two

The hidden meaning of the ending of the film Shutter Island is that it is easier for the human mind to invent a new reality than to accept the terrible truth of life. This is what happened to the main character of the tape. He could not bear the guilt and lost his mind. However, there is an alternative version – Teddy Daniels really got to the bottom of the truth. Inspired by nightmares, as he expected, arose from the fact that the staff of the clinic regularly slipped psychotropics into his food and cigarettes.

Martin Scorsese deliberately presented the material in such a way that the audience was left with an ambivalent feeling about the film. No one is completely sure whether the main character was actually mentally ill or whether everything that happened was the cunning machinations of the doctors of the psychiatric hospital. With this move, the director deliberately gave the audience the opportunity to choose for themselves what the meaning of the film is Shutter Island.

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