Something That Bugged Me About “Shutter Island” (BIG-ASS SPOILERS After the Jump)
As I’m sure all my loyal readers already know, I just published a review of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island on the independent Boston University e-zine The Quad. (First I wrote for Pegleg Spinners, now I write for The Quad… The humor of that pairing is only now occurring to me.) You can read the review if you want to know my general opinion of the film, but there was one specific aspect of the movie’s ending that I wanted to criticize but couldn’t because I would have had to give away major plot points to do so. So, instead of mentioning this complaint in my Quad article, I’m devoting this blog post to it.
Again, the thing I am going to discuss in this post will completely spoil major plot points that come very late in the movie, so don’t continue reading unless you’ve already seen Shutter Island or don’t care if you find out how it ends.
One more warning:
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Okay, so DiCaprio’s character’s real name is Andrew Laeddis, right? That’s his real name which he had in the real world for his whole real life up until he went crazy. And “Edward Daniels” is just a fake name that Ben Kingsley’s character made up for the purposes of this role-playing exercise that the movie is based around. So here’s my question: Isn’t it kind of odd that Laeddis’ real name just happens to be an acronym for a much more normal name?
I’m picturing Ben Kingsley sitting at a table rearranging the Scrabble letters for ANDREW LAEDDIS. “Hmm… Ooh, ‘Edward Daniels’! Wow, that is really fucking convenient for me! I’m so glad I figured that out; I was leaning towards ‘Ridweed Sandal’!”
The really odd thing is that, as far as my cursory Google search can tell, the name “Laeddis” only exists in Shutter Island. Dennis Lehane, the author who wrote the original novel, must have come up with “Laeddis” after naming his protagonist “Edward Daniels,” so why didn’t he just make Daniels the real name and Laeddis the fake one? That would’ve actually made sense.
Please let me know if I’m off base on this.