Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some strong sexual content and drug material.
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Written By: William Monahan
Staring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farminga, Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin
When you decide to be something, you can be it. That’s what they don’t tell you in the church. When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I’m saying to you is this: when you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference? -Frank Costello
This is a re-post by me. For some reason this was sitting in the “unpublished” even though I had posted it years ago. So here is my review of THE DEPARTED, one of my favorite films ever.
Here’s a movie where you don’t know if you should root for the bad guys or good guys or all of them together and just hope they end up blowing the crap out of each other by the end of the movie. This is a true gangster movie.
The setting is in Boston, and the story is told from two different perspectives of two different cops. One is a good guy pretending to be a bad guy. The other is a bad guy pretending to be a good guy. In intricate set ups and misinformation in both directions the Massachusetts police department tries to take down Irish crime lord Frank Costello. Billy Costigan (Leo DiCaprio), is undercover for the state fighting his own mind playing a rat in Costello’s crew. In contrast Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is a mole inside the state department feeding Costello everything they know, and each are trying to discover who the other is. It is no shock when things come to a bloody conflict in the end.
Directed by infamous Martin Scorsese who has brought us flicks like Cape Fear, Casino, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver. In The Departed he’s brought us what I’d consider another piece of movie immortality. Beyond the brilliant screenplay it boasted an All-Star cast, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Scorsese’s newDeNiro, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg and the fresh face of Vera Farminga , who is a shinning star in anything I’ve seen her in thus far. (e.g. Running Scared). While our main stars grip the screen, even the supporting roles of Martin, Alec, and Mark shined. DiCaprio again proved why he is considered one of America’s top actors with a subtle, in depth, and tragic performance, in my opinion worthy of an Oscar. The subtleties of his character were only met with equal success by “The Jack”, who with no exception was phenomenal in this film and has yet another notch to add to his rather depleted bedpost of standout career roles. Matt Damon shocked me with his low key performance as Jacks rat. Damon, who is now regarded as a strong leading man and good guy thanks to the Bourne trilogy, plays a twisted bad guy better than guys who have been at it their entire careers.
Scorsese makes great gangster films, and a great one hasn’t been made in nearly a decade, not one of this caliber. The score, which molded in beautifully, especially the scene with Farminga and DiCaprio with Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”. It left goosebumps on my arms. The cinematography was gritty and abrasive with his typical edge. Every character was flawless in creation, and every scene was enigmatic and mesmerizing. The plot escalates to a level unseen or even attempted by most movie makers these days. I won’t give away the details, but it is the morning after and still I am completely in awe by what I just saw.
Every once in awhile you take a trip to the theatre and are completely moved and shocked by what you see. The Departed dumbfounded me. Go, if you haven’t already, and see The Departed.