I'm having troubles with the beginning, we all know what the ending should be as explained perfectly here

But I simply cannot get my head around the fact that he arrived to the island on a boat if it was a role play. Why would they start this role play on the boat? Maybe he really was an agent and they did succeed in making him believe he killed his own wife. For me the whole boat scene is a give away to him actually coming there to investigate, but than again some things in the movie wouldn't quite make sense...

So should i just accept it that before the first scene, they got on the boat from the island, drove around a bit and then the first scene starts showing them arriving at the island? Or is there any ground for my suspicion?

1 Answer 1


In this great article, that also takes into account details from the book, the following information can be found:

  1. Doctors Cawey and Sheehan wait for a storm to start the roleplay
  2. They use large amount of psychotropic drugs to put Teddy to sleep
  3. Teddy awakens on the ferry

This means that after drugging him they put him on a ferry, move away from the shore and the whole thing starts.

Regarding why it's done this way: it seems logical that they need a clear starting point for the their story. If the whole roleplay started with Teddy already on the island it would be much less convincing for him.

  • Hello, Mrs. @Chanandler Bong, hope you get your movie shows booklet on time.Btw, what do you think; how did they know he would wake up and buy the story? He would have memories of what he thought he was before he was drugged. I mean it is not necessary things would definitely happen as they assumed it Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 19:27
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    It's been many years since I watched the movie and I don't remember if it's ever explained. However I don't think they had to be sure that he would buy it. They simply could have decided to take the risk and see what happens. Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 22:26
  • I however still can't get the idea of how role-playing would help Teddy to separate illusion from reality. Isn't that role-play will just add up to his hallucination?
    – Jim Raynor
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 14:03

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