MG Mason

Something has Been Bothering Me About Shutter Island


This was one of my favourite films of 2010 – pretty much the year I changed my opinion of Leonardo Di Caprio for good. Having been “teenage girl bait” for many years, I know he had already done a few serious roles in which he’d received praise, but my opinion changed with this film and with Inception.

Anyway, I finished the book yesterday as you can see from my feed. SPOILERS for those who have not seen the film or read this book – this following explanation gives away the ending so don’t say you were not warned!

I thought the plot and the resolution were pretty clear cut. I thought the explanation at the end wrapped it up rather nicely with a satisfying (in terms of the resolution for the reader if not the result for the protagonist) – that Andrew Laeddis/Teddy Daniels, Doctor Sheehan/Chuck and the warden had indeed come up with the story to act out in order to break the delusions that Daniels/Laeddis suffered as a result of being incarcerated in the prison following the tragic events in his life.

Yet the wikipedia page, IMDB and several reviews I have read since, suggest there is sufficient evidence that Teddy and Chuck were their real names, that they had indeed visited Shutter Island as US Marshals to find a missing patient by the name of Rachel Solando. Further, once “Teddy” had uncovered what was really going on, they fabricated the Andrew Laeddis story so they could experiment on them (Teddy and Chuck). Evidence of this includes Chuck’s “belief” at the end that he was indeed a Psychiatric Doctor.

To me, this was clear cut until I read these other reviews – all of the evidence points to The Warden telling the truth, and I was taken a little bit aback at the suggestion that the revelation at the end was actually a lie – it all seemed so watertight in my mind. Anyone else have thoughts on the resolution? Anybody here come to a different conclusion?