Shutter Island is a metaphor for the world. Leonardo DiCaprio spends all of his time pretending to be a big man and investigating imagined conspiracy theories, fighting externalized shadows, when the real crime had occurred within his own mind. His "captors" were only trying to show him that (the play's the thing)
"Someone is missing"--Leo is ostensibly looking for a missing girl, Rachel Solando.
Ben Kingsley is head of Shutter Island, and plays a film director in Martin Scorsese's next picture, Hugo. Leo's doctors stage an elaborate "role play" (read: Mystery Play) in order to "catch the conscience of the king," an obvious metaphor for the film Shutter Island itself.
|Leo emerges from the waters in Romeo + Juliet . . .|
|. . . and in Shutter Island . . .|
|. . . and again in Inception|
The insane King Nebuchadnezzar. Leo ("I'm King of the World!") is introduced in this pose, and the image is seen in Ben Kingsley's ("King Slay"?) office. AKA Dr. Cawley/Crowley.
Leo, along with the audience, is led to believe that Rachel Solando is just another tragic mental patient, with no connection to himself.
As Leo spends more and more time investigating Shutter Island, he begins to concoct bigger and bigger conspiracy theories regarding the doctors of the facility. The Lighthouse is the Tower, suspected site of any number of nefarious experiments. Leo wants to "blow the lid off"--but it is Leo himself who is overthrown. The connection to the imagined Illuminati capstone is clear. ("Where are the Satanic ORs?")
When Leo breaches the defenses of the Lighthouse at the end of the film, it is at last revealed that Rachel was really his own wife; all of the people he met were really attempting to show him this.
He must at last face the fact that he was the one who killed her. He had neglected her and she went insane.
And the lighthouse, site of illumination, is also where all of the dead girls are concealed in The Lovely Bones ("but you ain't got no business going in there anyway").
It is at this point that Leo and the audience members, if they were at all cognizant of what they were seeing, would experience a moment of profound self-reflection and catharsis. But Leo, like the audience as they leave the film, immediately regresses into old, familiar patterns, erecting a false persona around himself to avoid the Truth.
In the show Twin Peaks, Dale Cooper (the audience surrogate) goes to Twin Peaks to investigate the death of a girl (follow the plot of the show), and finds the people captivating enough that he finds a sort of home here (the viewers tune in each week to watch the drama). It is only later that it goes from the impersonal Laura, the Other, to his own lost love interest, the Dead Wife.
"You wander around playing detective. Well, maybe you should start investigating yourself."
Shutter Island would seem to indicate that there is a conspiracy, and it's not what you think.
"Rachael was special. No termination date."
Several passengers recounted how they had been watching a magic show when the ship ran aground, and the magician ran offstage leaving his assistant in a box. Finally, after some frantic moments, she was able to get someone to undo a latch releasing her. Rosalyn Rincon (shown above), from Blackpool, was trapped in the magic box as the Costa Concordia began to sink. (Twilight Language)
"Making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back."
"They've got you trapped, Rose, and if you don't break free, you're gonna die."
Titanic is another Underworld quest. The movie is about a ship, and a woman. The narrative is framed by an underwater salvage operation, searching for the lost Heart of the Ocean (i.e. they are in quest of a heart--Stella Maris). The symbolism here is entirely transparent. Their first coniunctio must be with Grandma Death, who unfolds the concealed narrative.
"We bring the subject into that dream . . ."
|Your future is in the [Tarot] cards|
Jack, the hero, is chosen by a stroke of Fate to board the Titanic, i.e. enter the Grid.
The ship is a monumental symbol of man's hubris and ego--the Tower.
|Under water much?|
And yet Jack (Romeo) must enter the Tower in order to find Rose (Juliet), his anima (soul). ("Magdalene" = "Tower.of Strength.") Refer to the familiar image of women in towers, damsels in distress, etc. The Tower/Lighthouse archetype in Shutter Island and The Lovely Bones is where the recollection and reconciliation with the lost anima occurs. For this reason the Tower is also the "House of God," where the White Star is found.
La Vie en Rose
Rose, alas, is scheduled to be married to ego, Caledon Hockley. She cannot abide this relationship, and thus enters into a sort of suicide. Jack drags her away from the Abyss and teaches her how to live (Dirty Dancing). Romeo + Juliet's plot is absolutely identical: Juliet is to be married to Count Paris, a wealthy, self-absorbed dullard.
|The King of the World nails the Rose Cross|
In point of fact, Rose, as the anima, is who Jack really is, under his ego-mask It's V's relationship with Evey again. Once V has served his purpose, the mask falls, and Evey becomes V (a Deal with God).
|Juliet as the Stella Maris|
|Coniunctio + Apocalypse|
We are told that correlation does not equal causation, but our preconceptions here must be overturned. Rose and Jack have sex immediately before the iceberg hits--ergo, Rose sinks the Titanic. (The word "titanic," of course, refers to the material nature of the elements.)
Jack is "framed" by Hockley for stealing the Heart of the Ocean (this is Rose herself, the Philosopher's Stone), i.e. he must bear the sins of the Old Man. Romeo slays Tybalt and is banished.
Rose serves a salvific function and breaks Jack's chains (the Curse of the Law again).
The Tower, symbol of all that is Empire, is destroyed. Another Chymische Hochzeit. The Architect and the Captain go down with the ship. Utter Destruction (as Beauty).
|The Costa Concordia . . .|
|. . . and the Titanic|
|The height of irony|
Concordia is actually the Roman form of Harmonia (AKA Hermione)--it encodes another "missing girl" narrative. If Costa Concordia = Titanic, is Concordia Leo's dead wife? The captain (ego) didn't save her in time.
|"Fear death by water."|
. . . the watery element, so far as water is below the Abyss, is definitely hostile, unless the opposition is the right opposition implied in marriage. But in this card the only question is of the “redemption” of the submerged element . . . water is the element of Illusion; one may regard this symbol an evil legacy from the old Aeon . . . It was the water, and the Dwellers of the Water that slew Osiris; it is the crocodiles that threaten Hoor-Pa-Kraat. (Aleister Crowley)
Leo's roles always evoke the Hanged Man. Note the significance of the World card being an Unhanged Woman--demon est deus inversus.
"Sometimes I get these crazy ideas about things that may not really be there."
Susie Salmon's father builds ships in bottles, and smashes them after her death. Are the smashed ships a metaphor for Susie herself? Or for the Father's unfinished creation? The signs suggest both.
|Death to Gaga?|
The world is most honoured that they should deign to rule
And above us these goddesses reign on high.
I worship the power of these lovely two
With that adoring love known to so few
'Tis indeed a miracle, one must feel
That two such heavenly creatures are real,
Both sets of eyes, though different far, hold many mysteries strange,
Impassively they watch the race of man decay and change
Hatred burning bright in the brown eyes with enemies for fuel,
Icy scorn glitters in the grey eyes, contemptuous and cruel
Why are men such fools they will not realize
The wisdom that is hidden behind those strange eyes . . .