Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Deliberate Delusion to Test Acceptance of the Truth

My husband Nathan told me a few nights ago that he purchased a movie on iTunes for us to watch after the children went to bed.  When I found out what it was--a thriller--I was unsure of whether I would enjoy watching it.  The movie was Shutter Island.   I want to say here, before I get into the details, that if, for some reason, you plan on watching this and hate knowing how a movie turns out before watching, then I'm warning you not to read the remainder of this blog post until after you've seen the movie.  Most who are careful about what movies they watch have a good chance of not choosing to watch this movie. 

We started watching it, and it wasn't long before I had the truth mostly figured out.  I didn't have the main character's "partner" figured out until almost the very end.  The main character, who identifies himself as Edward ("Teddy") Daniels is a U.S. marshal.  The movie starts out, set off the coast from Boston in 1956, with he and his partner riding a ferry to Shutter Island to investigate a case of a missing woman, a psychiatric patient on the island who drowned her three children.  The island houses three psychiatric wards--a woman's ward, a men's, and a third ward for extremely dangerous patients.   One of the doctors over the island says that he believes he can make psychiatric patients well and that they should not be put to death. 

The story was a very well thought out one.  Teddy takes the lead in the investigation of the missing Rachel Olandos.   His partner, whom Teddy met on the ferry, is "Chuck."  Their guns are taken from them on the island, in order to enter, and they are told that the officers on the island have final authority.  Teddy is an excellent investigator, but he talks to his partner about having information on the facilities on Shutter Island.  He claims that he wants to expose the truth, namely that patients on Shutter Island are being experimented on like the Nazis did to people.  Teddy himself fought in WW2 and keeps having flashbacks of the horrible things that happened.  He reveals that he had a wife who died in a fire at their apartment, where three others died.  He said that an Andrew Laeddis, the apartment maintenance man, slipped a match to start the fire, and he got away with the crime.  He then later burned down a school that killed some (I think the movie said two children).  Andrew had claimed that voices made him do it.  He was eventually transferred to Shutter Island.  That was when Teddy started looking into the facilities there.  He met a man--George--who had been there for a year in Ward C, and when he was released he went and shot some people a week or so later.  He begged the judge for the electric chair and begged not to be transferred back to Shutter Island.  

After revealing his knowledge to his partner about George, Chuck tells Teddy that they must have lured him onto the island, because the must have known he'd been asking questions.  Chuck says they must have made up the story about Rachel Olandos, especially since everyone  he questions acts as if they're being coached on what to say.   Among other things, everyone says Rachel thinks everyone around her are her neighbors and delivery people and that she still lives in her house.

There are far too many details to relate here, so I'll hit on the big points.  The whole time the doctors on the island give him complimentary cigarettes, and they give him aspirin for the migraines he keeps experiencing while there.  He also keeps having strange dreams and hallucinations.  His wife speaks to him and tells him that Andrew Laeddis is on the island, and Rachel Olandos is still there as well. However, when Teddy confronts the leaders of the island, they tell him Rachel turned up well, near the light house.  He goes to talk to her, and she looks the same as the pictures he was shown.  She says she went for a long swim in the lake.  Of course, they're by the ocean, but Rachel had drowned her children in the lake behind her home.  Teddy acts strange every time the drowning incident, or anything that reminds him of it, gets brought up.

At one point, when he's trying to get to the light house, where he suspects they do brain surgery experiments on the patients, he tells Chuck to stay on the rocks.  The tide is up too far, so Teddy cannot check out the light house.  When he gets back to where he'd left Chuck, he sees a burning cigarette at the edge of the cliff, and he looks down to see Chuck's body on the rocks below.  By the time he climbs down the treacherous rocks, Chuck is not there.  Either his body washed away, or someone took him.  Teddy sees fire light coming from a cave, so he climbs inside.  A woman with a knife acts suspicious.  Teddy assumes aloud that she's the real Rachel Olandos.  She says that she is and that he'll have to leave, because they'd go looking for him, and she doesn't want to be found.  She tells him that he will never leave the island and that he had no friends there.  She tells him about all the awful things that they do on the island and how she had never even had children nor been married.  She said she'd been a doctor on the island, but they thought she was going to expose the truth, so they had to deal with her. 

In the end, Teddy does make it to the light house.  He successfully stole a gun and then knocked unconscious the guard who was standing at the light house.  He did not wish to kill anyone, as he made it clear more than once in the movie he was not there to kill anyone, even Andrew Laeddis, if he found him.  The war had caused him not to want to kill anyone.  He goes into the light house, reaches the top, and there is the main doctor.  He says, "Why are you wet, Baby," which is a line that was spoken between  he and his wife in one of his dreams.  Teddy said, "What did you say?"  The doctor told him that he knew what he'd said.  He then told Teddy he had no ammo in the gun.  He confronted Teddy calmly with the real truth.  Edward Daniels was really Andrew Laeddis, and the letters of the names were rearranged.  His wife's first and maiden name were Dolores Chanal, which is a rearrangement of Rachel Olandos.  Teddy asked why he was shaking then and had migraines.  He accused the doctor of drugging him in the food, alcohol, cigarettes, and aspirin.  The doctor said he'd been off of his neuroleptic medications for two days.  He was having withdrawals.  He asked Teddy about the hallucinations.   Teddy then accused them of doing something to Chuck and inquired how they were going to cover that up.  "Chuck" then walked out of a door.  Teddy asked who he was.  He was Teddy's doctor, the one who had supposedly been Rachel's doctor and who had left on the ferry the morning of her disappearance, to take his vacation. 

The doctor continued to give Teddy evidence of the real truth.  He told Teddy that he was a patient there, the most dangerous patient on the island, and he'd been in Ward C.  He read the entrance form on him, reading how Teddy had been a U.S. marshal, very intelligent, etc.  He told Teddy that he was their chance to show the world that what they were doing there was working.  They had let him have free reign of the island for two days.  He'd hurt people, and he had blown up the doctor's parked car (as a distraction so that he could get to the light house).   Teddy did not want to believe the truth.  The doctor then showed him pictures of his three children and asked whether he would deny that they ever existed.   He then fell to the floor, and then it was replayed what had happened several years prior.

He had come home to his cabin, and he poured himself an alcoholic drink and stepped outside the back.  His wife was sitting in a chair swing near the lake.  She got up and started walking to him, and he asked why she was wet.  She was acting strange.  He asked where the kids were.  She said they were in school, but he said it was Saturday and that school wasn't in that day.  He glanced toward the lake, and he saw something floating.  He ran to the lake and panicked, as any parent does when they realize something awful has happened to his or her children, saying things like, "Oh, no!"  He dived in, and he went to his firstborn daughter.  He rolled her over and picked her up.  He cried, "Oh, God!"  He tried performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but he quickly realized that was useless.  He went to his other two children and had them all gathered in his arms.  He laid them down on the land, and his wife talked about sitting them at the table and having dinner and going places with them.  They'd be their perfect dolls.  He said if she ever loved him, to not say anything else.  He was crying.  She started crying, and she said that she loved him.  She said, "Set me free," and he shot her.  It is assumed that he must have taken her and the children and burned them in their apartment.  I believe they were at a lakeside cabin, not their regular residence. 

When he came to, he was in a bed, and the main doctor and his doctor--Dr. Sheehan.  He realized what they were doing was to help him.  They asked him who he was.  He confessed he was Andrew Laeddis and that he'd murdered his wife in the spring of 1952.  When asked why he had created a make believe life, as if he was still a marshal, had a different name, and that another man had burned up his wife, Teddy answered that it was because he couldn't accept that Dolores had drowned their children.  He said he'd loved her so much.  He said that she'd been manic-depressive and had told him once that she felt as if an insect was crawling in her brain, pulling strings.  He ultimately blamed himself, because he had not got her help.  So, really he killed their children. 

He was then told that they were concerned he would regress again, because he had come to the knowledge of the truth nine months prior.  If he did not accept reality, they would have to do the brain surgery that would make him easier to handle, and he'd no longer have memories of his past. 

Later, I am guessing the next day, he and his doctor were sitting outside, and Andrew said, "So, Chuck, what's next?"  Dr. Sheehan said he didn't know, that Teddy should tell him.  He deliberately played like he was in his fantasy world again, even though he really wasn't.  He said, "One must ask, is it better to live as a monster or die as a good man?"  In other words, he wanted the surgery, because he could not accept living, knowing what he'd done.  He couldn't live with his guilt.

During the movie, he was deliberately fed lies by those who wanted to help him, because it was he who wanted to believe the lies.  He had lived those lies.  So, they set it all up so that the lies would be seemingly confirmed.  Then, at the end, they showed him the truth, to see whether he still chose to believe the lies or whether he would accept the truth.  In Teddy's case, he did admit the truth, but he didn't want to live the truth.  He wanted the memories of his past to be erased, because he couldn't forgive himself.

God forgives.  We must be willing to confess the truth of our sins, though, and be willing to move past them. 

People are also sent delusion by God, because they have already chosen to live lies.  Most who call themselves Christians live and believe lies (2 Thess. 2:10-12).  A time is coming that those lies they believe will seemingly be confirmed.  They then shall have to decide whether to continue living the lie or to accept the truth and repent.  It will be a hard road for the latter, until their death or Christ's return.  However, those who choose to continue believing the lies shall have their memories erased forever--the second death.  Those who accept the truth will eventually be given the peace they desire, their sorrows and pain taken away forever.  It is worth it to me to accept the truth and move on.  I was disappointed that Andrew could not find forgiveness and chose to take the easy way out.  What about you?  Would you rather believe and live a lie for the sake of easiness?