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"The Departed" opens as perhaps all Martin Scorsese movies will open, when you pass away and get to watch them the way you want them on that big silver screen in the sky. The Rolling Stones are on the soundtrack, Scorsese is back on the mean streets with his steadicam, waltzing around his characters in soda shops and chop shops, while the infernal Irish mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) dispenses his hard-won philosophy to the audience.
Nicholson isn't the first name that springs to mind when you think of Scorsese collaborators, but the style and language of these opening frames are so seductive and reassuring that you instantly recognise it as Scorsese's territory. As much as we all admire "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull", and the eccentric ambition of "Gangs of New York" and the glossy "Aviator", I think when it comes down to it, when we sit down in a darkened room to watch a new Scorsese movie, we all want the same thing. We want to be transformed and transported for a few hours; we want to feel special again, the way we all felt when we first watched "Goodfellas".
There's been a notable backlash against "Goodfellas" recently, but for a sheer headrush of eclectic soundtrack, awesome performances, audacious editing and persuasive directing, it takes a lot of beating as cinema as sensation, as an experience.
And "The Departed" starts off with something similar - a young lad seduced by the larger-than-life characters of his neighborhood's underworld, and the drama that will unfold from his involvement and relationship with these criminals.
Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) meets Costello at an early age - clearly daunted by being in the vicinity of this dangerous man as he collects his protection money from a soda shop owner, he still pays a visit on the big man's suggestions, and is soon taken into the family - this we assume, as next thing, we see Sullivan as a fully grown Matt Damon, a police officer working towards promotion in the Special Investigations Unit.
At this point, we only suspect Sullivan is still on Costello's pay roll, and is actually working for the crime boss as a mole.
Meanwhile, Billy Costigan's (Leonardo DiCaprio) superiors in the Police force have another future planned out for him, being a young man from a poor background, whose family has a history of crime. Because of his family's criminal ties, Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) considers him a perfect undercover police officer - a few months in jail to make it look good, and nobody's going to ask any questions.
The rest of the film follows the two men - unknown to each other - as they gradually infiltrate their respective organisations, both intimately familiar with Costello, one trying to protect him, the other trying to gather enough evidence to get him sent down for a long, long time.
Fans of the original Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs" won't need telling, as the storyline is fairly faithful to the original. Some eyebrows were raised about Scorsese's decision to remake such a highly acclaimed classic, but those people seemed to forget the director has done remakes previously - his "Cape Fear" went above and beyond the well respected original potboiler, adding many extra layers of sexuality, infidelity and ambiguity to the sweaty plotline.
Scorsese remains faithful to the original while also building in his own nuances - influence of religion being one of them - and fleshing out his characters in rough, tough Boston environment. His grip on the material is as tight as perhaps it's ever been; there's a lot of information being presented in this movie, and most of it Scorsese is able to convey and keep simple just by a few choice cuts which show us all we need to know.
Double cross stories can be confusing at the best of times, and it's testament to Scorsese's mastery of the medium that you're never confused who's doing what, when or where, and what their motivation is.
Scorsese is also assisted by a fantastic cast - Nicholson, Damon, DiCaprio, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winston - all making the most (in one case, too much) of their allotted time on screen.
Like Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, Scorsese knows how to change with the times, and build his team with the best of what's available. He also knows how to build a team around his star player. For years, Scorsese's "Captain" was Robert De Niro, who was central to everything he did - "Mean Streets", "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull", "King of Comedy", "Cape Fear", "Goodfellas" (to name a few). There were many other great actors in those movies, but it was De Niro at the center holding it all together.
Whether that collaboration tailed off in the Nineties as De Niro seemed to become more of a parody of his former self, I don't know, but Scorsese has found a new "Captain" in Leonardo DiCaprio.
DiCaprio, building on his early promise of roles in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" and "Romeo and Juliet" has survived the early heartthrob image and matured into one of the best actors around today. DiCaprio, I think, is one of the most natural actors about at the moment - at first, you think, "Oh look! It's Leonardo", but then his acting and onscreen presence is so effortless that you forget his acting; once that happens, he allows you to just get drawn into the character.
Scorsese has collaborated with DiCaprio on a number of occasions now - "Gangs of New York", "The Aviator", "Shutter Island", and his Billy Costigan in "The Departed" is another fine performance, and the one that anchors the film. With his lanky frame and dark rimmed eyes, you can feel the pressure Costigan is under as he tries to do his job and stay alive at the same time.
Matt Damon as Sullivan is also very good - but then Matt Damon usually is. Damon, once again, uses his all-American good looks to his advantage, and, like he did in "The Talented Mr Ripley", uses them as a disguise for a darker, amoral soul. There's something very uncomfortable and queasy to watch Damon in these roles where he uses his brilliant smile and easy-going charm to manipulate those around him.
Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Ray Winston make the most of relatively small roles, but standout in this category is Mark Wahlberg's Staff Sergeant Dingham, an uptight and offensive senior policeman with a rather unfortunate way of dealing with people. I've always had trouble accepting Wahlberg as an actor, with his plain, unremarkable face and strangely effeminate, lispy voice.
Here he plays nicely against type as the aggressive, foul mouthed Dingham, who grabs up most of the film's laughs and also turns out to the the story's redemptive force.
Then there's Jack Nicholson. He seemed an odd choice for the role of a gangster at first, because despite the number of villains he's played in the past, there always seems to be something essentially generous and benevolent about Nicholson's performances. And like many of the male actors that came to prominence during the 70's, like Pacino, Hoffman, De Niro and Voight, their careers can be roughly cut into two sections - the Seventies, and Everything Else.
Neither section's roles - the individualist rebels of the Seventies, or the larger-than-life characters where he stopped being referred to as "Jack Nicholson" or "Nicholson", and started to be referred to as simply "Jack".
He starts off well in the role of Frank Costello, his best moments lurking in the shadows, making it easy to understand how this character is frightening and fascinating, repellent and attractive, at the same time to the people around him.
Then about halfway through the movie, he suddenly turns into "The Joker". Here's Jack playing with a severed hand, and here he is pulling silly faces and funny accents, and look! Jack's waving a rubber cock around! The performance goes from a controlled portrayal of a dangerous, larger-than-life character, to simply a larger-than-life, dangerously uncontrolled performance.
Dangerous, because in such a gripping, assured effort from Scorsese, surrounded by excellent performances, the big exploding charisma in the center of it that is "Jack!" unbalances the whole thing, and makes it distractingly comic when the tension should be really biting.
So - imagine. Scorsese's got his new team Captain DiCaprio playing his socks off in the middle of the director's long awaited return to (some kind of) mean streets. Imagine if he'd got his old team captain De Niro to play the Costello role? That could have been something....
(Originally posted on Ciao! as Midwinter)
The Departed is a remake, there is no getting around this, as good as the film is, it is an American remake of the remarkable Hong Kong Thriller, Infernal affairs. The plot is pretty much the same as the original, but the dialogue has been rewritten to suit the audience and the location by William Monahan
It was a welcome return to form for Director Martin Scorsese after a couple of his less highly acclaimed projects (The Aviator, Gangs of New York), this takes him back to an arena he knows well, highly stylised Gangster territory. Although most viewers will accept this isn't as good as Goodfellas it is still a wonderful film and earned Scorsese his first Oscar as a Director. The film also won the Oscar for best motion picture, best writing and best editing, and Mark Wahlberg was nominated for the best supporting actor accolade. The film grossed 132 Million US Dollars and was one of the most successful financially with the highest cross over appeal for Scorsese. It is the only remake ever to win a best film award at the Oscar's, it also has the most swear words of any Oscar winning work.
Scorsese was honest enough to admit that this was the first film he had ever directed that had a plot. Looking back this is perhaps true and the plot and performances are what makes this film such a tense and memorable experience.
Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) is one of the fastest rising young policemen in the Boston force, unknown to everyone he was nobbled by the gang boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) at a young age and is actually working for the mob on the inside as a plant. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is also a policeman, known for his short fuse, and the criminal behaviour of his family, he is asked by his superiors to go undercover into Costello's world, pretend to be a criminal, gain the confidence of the gang bosses and help them arrest the vicious thug.
Costigan gets arrested, does some time in prison and then begins to ingratiate himself into Costello's world, helped by the fact his father was one of the few men Costello ever admired.
As Costigan gets involved in debt collection, assaults and more serious crime to aid his cover, Sullivan finds himself placed in charge of a unit dedicated to finding the policeman working for Costello (Irony!!!)
Through this, Sullivan becomes aware that there is a cop undercover working with Costello and Costigan understands there is one of Costello's men on the take as a cop, they then try to find each other to route them out before they themselves are discovered, at the same time, each, separately falls in love with Madolyn (Vera Famiga), a police psychologist who also acts as a sounding board for young offenders.
As Costigan and Sullivan try to find each other, the search reaches desperate levels, both cops and crooks become paranoid of everybody and even each other, mistakes start to be made by both undercover men and the stakes get higher and higher until the inevitable but utterly spellbinding finale.
The cast is incredible for this film, beginning with the two leads, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, I did feel that DiCaprio was much the more convincing of the two, I am a huge fan of Damon, but have to admit, at times his Boston Irish accent sounded a tad put on, however on rewatching the film for a second time, I realised, the difference between the acting styles is actually correct and Damon does put in a strong performance, whilst DiCaprio is neurotic, paranoid and desperate, like a wild cat trapped in a corner and constantly on edge, Damon is more controlled and calculating, this is understandable as he has much more control over elements of what is happening than DiCaprio as Costigan, therefore we have two actors playing characters in similar situations totally differently. Sullivan is diffident, confident and unlikeable, he controls his surroundings and plays smart, as Costello advises him too, while Costigan is much wilder, more prone to emotive outbursts and feelings that he will be outed at any moment.
Damon's performance is very controlled and a good balance to the wilder more edgy performance from DiCaprio, I felt DiCaprio was one of the best things in this film and his performance was so good, I looked over at one point to see my other half on the edge of her seat, eyes hidden behind her fingers.
Of the other actors, Jack Nicholson has a ball, he returns from the wilderness of pensioner comedies to an arena he excels in, playing nasty villains. He clearly relishes the task and is excellent as the smart crime boss, he is nasty, bigoted and bullying but with respect for the old ways, his language is reprehensible but necessary, he does light up the screen when he is on it, but occasionally needs to rein his performance in as he can be too overbearing and is outacted by DiCaprio and some others.
Mark Wahlberg is excellent as the foul-mouthed Dignam, a cop who lives his job, he could start a fight in an empty room and his potty mouth raises the film to an 18 rating on its own, but as the film progresses it is clear that he wears his heart on his sleeve and after initially giving Costigan a hard time, feels a fierce sense of loyalty to the boy, to the police force and to the City of Boston. Wahlberg is a joy to watch his anger is intense and he steals every scene he is in with ease.
Martin Sheen plays his boss, Queenan a calm and wise old head who perfectly balances Dignam's bad cop, his management of Costigan is obviously personal as he knows Costello well from the old days, but he puts in a crackingly understated performance which allows the other actors to really get into their parts.
Of the other actors, Farmiga is interesting looking and intriguing as the smart psychologist who can't decide between the safe crooked cop and the dangerous, good cop.
Ray Winstone struggles with his accent but does a decent job otherwise as Costello's chief confidante and heavy, he gets to smash a few things and throw the odd F-bomb but is quiet other than that. Alec Baldwin is enjoyable as a good cop who wants results and trusts wholly in Sullivan to provide them.
Overall the cast is spectacular and they work well as an ensemble, there is balance and some really interesting individual performances, but as in football, they work well together making the performance that much better than watching a load of stars doing their own thing.
This has been the biggest box office hit of Scorseses career and you can see why, unlike the character led tales in Taxi Driver, Goodfella's, Casino and other films, this has a really strong collection of characters, but an enthralling story to back them up.
The film is relentless, it is 18 minutes before the credits actually roll, but you may struggle to notice, as by then you will be absolutely hooked to this really exciting story of double crossing.
The cast step up to the plate and while some suggest Damon is the weak link, I would suggest he has to play this way as it fits his character, he is languid and in control (For most of the film) and his actions support this. I do think Nicholson does go OTT on a few occasions, one scene where he sings an Irish ditty is particularly toe-curling, but for the most part he is very good as the chief villain, Wahlberg is outstanding, DiCaprio is clearly up to lead actor status amongst such a stellar cast and Baldwin and Sheen play their parts to perfection. Ray Winstone seems a little out of place, but still works for me.
The story relies heavily on coincidence as a plot tool, this is fine as it's not a true story, there is also a lot of mobile phone use in the film, which requires some concentration.
I really enjoyed this film, it does involve you and you are desperately cheering on one of the characters praying for their safety whilst hoping the other is caught, the game of cat and mouse up's stakes throughout the picture and the climax is excellent, it really does finish the film well and doesn't take an easy route out, which I like.
The Direction is excellent, Boston is recreated perfectly, the costumes are excellent, Scorsese's love of dialogue and understanding of its necessity in a film is as strong as ever and the action set pieces are exciting and perfectly compliment the story.
The soundtrack is excellent including Van Morrison, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, the Isley Brothers and Nas, the music is eclectic, symbolic of this rollercoaster ride of a movie and builds tension as well as conveying mood and conscience to the film, Scorsese as always is spot on with his musical choices which only add to the film and never distract in any way.
Overall this was an excellent film, it's the third time I've watched it, it cost us £6.99 from Amazon and we'll still be enjoying it in 20 years so was great value, this is possibly my second favourite Scorsese film, it is more exciting and action packed than Goodfellas but the characters and script don't quite match that, it is still a classic in my eyes and a memorable film which is worthy of 5 out of 5.
Frank Costello: 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?
Queenan: We have a question: Do you want to be a cop, or do you want to appear to be a cop? It's an honest question. A lot of guys just want to appear to be cops. Gun, badge, pretend they're on TV.
One of the best films in years....and still is.
This is one of Scorcese's best films in recent years and he has a great relationship with Leonardo DiCaprio which manages to get the best out of DiCaprio. All of which pays dividends in this film.
This crime thriller is about the Irish mafia in Boston, an undercover cop within the mafia (DiCaprio) and an undercover gang member in the police (Damon). Casting Damon as the bad guy, DiCaprio the good and Nicholson as the head of the mafia is casting at it's best. Every actor in this film is at the top of their game, especially Nicholson who captures the mad paranoid crime leader to a T.
DiCaprio and Damon become aware of a mole within their respective camps and set out to find each other which intertwines a love interest which adds so much more depth and complexity to the film that you want even more. The closer Damon and DiCaprio come to discovering each other the more dangerous and action packed the film gets. The ending is simply brilliant and leaves you feeling fulfilled as normally these types of movies just fade out at the end but this film is borderline genius. Scorcese knows how to make a good film and boy doesn't he show it with The Departed.
Watch it! You will not be disappointed.
Amassing an all star cast can be the downfall of a film - it has happened many a time. However, director Martin Scorsese is not one to let a cast get the better of him. He has, over the years, chosen a number of actors to star in his films and kept them going along the lines of stardom. His latest is Leonardo DiCaprio, and he is indeed one of the stars of this complicated film. However, he is one of many stars that The Departed has, with every major character having a household name filling its shoes.
The plot is, as I said, complicated, and without watching it, it's hard to completely grasp. Essentially, DiCaprio plays Billy Costigan, a recruit cop whose family is Mafia based. Conversely, Matt Damon plays Colin Sullivan, another new recruit, but one who has secretly been under the care of Mafia boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) since he was a boy and is now looking at being Costello's inside man on the force. So, we have the two undercover agents: a cop inside the Mafia, and a crook inside the force. But how deep are they willing to go, and how will it affect their morals?
Scorsese quickly shows us that he is pulling no punches with this offering. The action, as well as the violence, comes thick and fast, and it's all about how powerful the filming is when combined with some of the brilliant acting that's on show here. The two 'leads' if you like, Damon and Leo, are excellent, displaying small little elements of panic and desperation as they emerge themselves in their new roles; while Nicholson as Mafia boss Costello and Martin Sheen as police Captain Queenan are Hollywood heavyweights easily up to their second fiddle tasks. Needless to say, they don't end up playing second fiddle, and their screen presence is overpowering on a number of occasions. I'd regard this as a very clever move on Scorsese's part, really, as in reality the new recruits, however promising, would always be the lesser figures to their superiors.
Added to this corruption and ensuing trust issues comes a further addition to the twists and turns that the film provides: the violence elements. Again, to balance out the two sides, each 'boss' has a second, a sidekick. On the force, Mark Wahlberg takes on and gloriously overacts the role of Staff Sergeant Dignam, with a foul mouth and quick temper that is matched only by his equal opposite, Costello's number two, Mr French, played by Ray Winstone. Again, great casting, and Winstone overdoes things himself. It's a shame his ability to don an American accent left me cringing, but the purpose of his character was well delivered by the British actor.
It's quite a long film, but there never feels like anyone is dawdling. Similarly, there's no rushing things either. Scorsese manages to pace this perfectly, and my initial fears about the film being overly long were quashed quite immediately as I was drawn in and didn't glance at the time once. The developments in the film take the natural progression of such a plot, and just to show that no character is too big or small for the proceedings, be ready for some bloodshed, both brutal and gory, at any part of the film. Some of the spattering blood that is visible on screen will come as a shock, but these moments are few and far between to maximise their impact, which they do brilliantly, and in looking at it, it also seems quite realistic. Music is used to good effect throughout the film, but in these scenes, it's the silences that speak volumes.
There are so many characters going on here that if you don't pay attention, the complicated plot will not be the only thing you'll forget over the course of events. Things are so well constructed that you forget who is on what side and who is supposed to be gathering facts and details about operations and moles for who. It's one of those films where the acting and direction work so well together that you forget these are actors and start accepting them as real characters. The addition of support from people such as Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga and Anthony Anderson strengthens things in depth, as well as some lesser known names who slot in as if they were as well known as the other stars. There really is no stand out here - everyone is excellent (barring Winstone's accent, bless him!)
I cannot recommend this enough - it's a very powerful and paranoid depiction of corruption and the lengths people will go to in order to bring down their adversaries in the police/mafia war. It takes things to the streets and gives you hard hitting characters who immerse themselves in their jobs because they don't know any different. The acting and direction are brilliant, and the presentation and use of sound is awesome. Scorsese's vision here is impeccably done, and he has a solid cast and crew who have certainly done their jobs for him on this occasion. Highly recommended.
This was the crime/mob film that finally earned Martin Scorsese his deserved Oscar for best Director. The irony being that it's not his best piece of directing. It's a very, very good film, but not quite as good as GoodFellas.
Much like Martin Scorsese's other mob films, this is based loosely on facts. It has an exceptional script by William Monahan, and a superb cast including Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Sheen, Ray Winston, Mark Walhberg and Alec Baldwin. So you know that this film is brilliant from the start, and is real return to the mob dramas Scorsese made his own in the 90's.
The film starts with a young Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) being introduced to organized crime by Irish Gangster Frank Costello (Nicholson on fine form). Over the years, Costello trains Sullivan to become a mole in the Massachusetts' Police Department.
At the same time, another young Police officer called Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is trained by his superiors Captain Queenan (Sheen) and Sergeant Dignam (Wahlberg) to act as a gangster and join Costello's gang.
So now both sides have moles, and both are aware that they exist. However, neither knows each other personally so they never recognize or suspect each other. They never even meet. But both must now discover the identity of the other person so they can get away from the danger.
Slowly, the net begins to tighten on each man. Costello becomes aware that there is an insider and is out to get him. Captain Queenan is also aware that there is an insider, and must find him, leading to a subtle game of cat and mouse. All the while, both undercover agents are passing along information to help their bosses, and it soon leads to a very violent showdown with a clever twist along the way.
Before this, the last really decent mob thriller that Scorcese had done was Casino in 1995, 11 years before. He had done Gangs of New York, and though it was good, is wasn't really great. He had also done a good biopic of Howard Hughes called The Aviator. But this really was a superb return to form, and his directing really is exceptional.
The acting is also exceptional. Jack Nicholson is just cativating as Frank Costello, and Matt Damon as Sullivan was another brilliant piece of casting. Leonardo DiCaprio is a bit of a hit and miss actor for me, though he just about holds his role together well enough. And there is superb support from Martin Sheen as the tough, clever Captain. Mark Walhberg and Ray Winston also offer a lot in their support roles.
All in all, a very captivating and clever piece of film-making.
This is a review of the film only.
I am not a massive fan of mob films but I was at a loose end and I really like Leonardo DiCaprio so I thought I'd give this a whirl.
The Departed is directed by Martin Scorcese and stars quite a few big-name actors. It is set in Boston and looks at the mob. It stars Matt Damon as Colin Sullivan, a police officer who works for the mob, Leo as Billy Costigan, who has infiltrated the moB but works for the police. Jack Nicholson plays the suitably demented Irish mafia boss, Frank Costello and there are further stars in the shape of Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin, who are all police officers. Ray Winstone is also a mob member.
The film centres around Sullivan and Costigan - each knows the other exists but they don't know each other's identity. There is also the complication of a romance with a Police psychologist. Who can the pair trust?
This is not a film for the fainthearted - it is very violent, lots of blood, guns, death and swearing as the film explores identity, father figures and the angst that comes with a double identity.
The performances in this film are fantastic - especially the two leads, though they are usually excellent. There is the odd dodgy moment with the Bawstin acccent. Ray Winstone in particular sounds half-cockney and half-American, which did detract from his performance. Mark Wahlberg is brilliant in his role - I totally forgot about his CK modelling days! They really make you believe in the characters.
There are plenty of nerve-wracking moments, which keeps you watching and a desire on my behalf for the good guys to win. But it really is the performances that keep you watching. There's a great soundtrack (Rolling Stones etc) and it is shot to look a bit grainy and depressing. (I have been to Boston, but clearly I went to the nicer parts!).
There are a few criticisms - the odd dodgy accent moment, certain violent scenes felt a bit gratuitous and the film itself is a little too long - running at over two and a half hours. I think 15 minutes could have been shaved off without making any difference to the film.
I haven't seen any of Scorcese's other mob films (not my usual thing!) so I don't know how they compare. I believe this also a remake of an Asian film, but I haven't seen it.
I wasn't really expecting to like this film but I did find myself being drawn in and found it quite compelling so I may give some other Scorcese fims a try now.
A great film, one worth watching, but taking one star off for the length and some dodgy accents.
I watched this film having no expectations what so ever and was massively surprised by most the performances and the story line. It is a film that through - out keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I have always been a silent fan of Leonardo Dicaprio, and, in my opinion, this is his best role. He plays the rookie cop that has been brought up in a family of gangsters and criminals. Being the perfect candidate for a mole he is assigned to get in close to a criminal boss(played by Jack Nicholson), who is already aware of his family and their past. Leo acts effortless to portray a lost young man with no hopes. The fear, anger and sadness he character feels is portrayed perfectly with his facial expressions and body language. You are enticed to feel sympathy for the character and become very attached.
The plot thickens when you find out the brilliant story line that involves the mob bosses adopted sun (Matt Damon) is a police officer AND a mole for him too. As the two men are both trying to find the mole and report them the tension builds and builds.
Matt Damon's performance I thought was excellent as you really do hate that character. The more privileges he gets the you despise him.
Jack Nickolson, as always is great. I really enjoyed the deluded calm and always smiling character that resembles that of when he played the joker. I cannot tell you the twist that surrounds him you;ll have to watch it.
As a whole the film is very long 2 hours 40 mins but it really is worth it. It has a proper story line and goes through it carefully and steadily so you have enough time to really understand all the characters. Another thing I really liked was there wasn't a stupid lengthy Hollywood romance, it all seemed quite relatively real and normal!!
This film has one of the greatest lineup of actors i have ever seen in any movie! the budget must have been huge. That along, with the gripping story line easily make this worthy of its place in the imdb top 50 films of all time.
Okay so you have Leonardo Dicaprio and Matt Damon as the main characters. Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga as well as Alec Baldwin. Furthermore, it is directed by the same man who directed Goodfellas.
This movie is not just a standard gangster movie, it is much more complex than that. It is centered around a complex relationship between an undercover cop, and a gangster undercover as a cop.
The sarcasm, the irony, the wit, the acting, the storyline all make this movie fantastic, and make me want to watch it over and over again. The mix of dark comedy, and serious killing around Massachusetts work so well together and is directed in such away that the two do not conflict.
There is action throughout, aswell as a complex love triangle to keep the romantics happy. However, this movie is not for the faint hearted. Heaving violence and killings are common throughout, so viewing discretion is advised.
This film is over 2 and a half ours long, but it is worth every minute.
The departed is a 2007 thriller from acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. loosley based on 2002's internal affairs it follows a gang member who is undercover as a police officer and a police officer as a member of his gang. the two must keep their identity secret whilst filing information that is crucial to both parties. This brings an automatic tension to the film as they must both play a risky game at risk of being caught at any time. leonardo Dicaprio plays Costigan who is undercover in the boss played by jack nicholson on form in his gang. He must convince in order to gather vital evidence for the police to take down. matt Damon plays sullivan who is a cold and brutal gang member who belives in his cause and excels in his role as a policeman rising through the ranks on ly to use his trusted piers to gather intel and lead evidence in a diffrent direction.
damon is ruthless in his role and easily with silence and sheer confidence intigrates himself as a police officer. mark Whalberg is one of the supporting roles who is in turn a mouthy cop who steals scene after scene he is in. Although brutal and frank he is the good force in the film who only wants to take the bad guys Down. His loyalty to his chief is a key part of the film and end up having the most remembable scene toward the end of the film.
The direction is first class and the pace builds up the tension as all the proceeding come to a head. Scorsese lets everything run its course naturally and every frame and decision of the characters feel real. the oicture is gritty and shows a convincing side to gang rule and a currupt police system.
The film impresses until the final frame. With a making of and some intresting commentries the dvd is a must for fans of detailed and tense thrillers.
There's this problem with Scorsese' film The Departed, and how you see the film depends entirely on your previous experiences with the film. What I'm talking about is the film it's based on - Alan Mak and Andrew Lau's Infernal Affairs. The Departed is a remake of that film, and in its defense, one of the better remakes out there (I'm looking at you, The Eye, and One Missed Call). However, my problem with it is that everything depends on whether you've seen Infernal Affairs first or not. The films, while being very similar in terms of scenes used, have an incredibly different feel to them. While Infernal Affairs plays for emotions, The Departed plays for violence and shocks (note, the body falling from the building - no spoilers, here - is played to a very sad theme in IA while Departed plays it for the shock of seeing who it is (again, no spoilers here). The one you like the most, I've noticed, seems to be affected simply by which one you watch first.
The Departed, all in all, looks and feels like a Scorsese film. Which is fine considering that it is.
OK, now to focus on the film as itself, not in comparison to anything else, I have to say that the characters are really well developed. For those of you who don't know the story, it is of a mafia mole in police, and of an undercover cop in the mob, and the subsequent race to find out which is which.
I can't say much for the story, as it is remade from Felix Chong's original screenplay, but William Monahan's adaptation from Hong Kong to Boston is pretty expertly executed and it feels like its own film, instead of a remake. Jack Nicholson excels as the mob boss, while Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon are very good as the identity-troubled main characters.
It's slick, it's exciting and it's certainly worth a watch, although I personally would recommend checking out Infernal Affairs first
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
The Departed is a remake of the popular Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs, and while most remakes of foreign films tend to lose something in translation, The Departed gains a lot due to the schooled direction of Martin Scorsese as well as a brilliant script from William Monaghan, and the film is, in my opinion, actually better than the original.
The film revolves around two young men, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) and William Costigan, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), who both become cops and then take different routes: William becomes a mole in the outfit of big-time crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), while Colin becomes a cop while actually being a rat for Costello and feeding him information. Soon enough it all becomes a big mess and nobody is sure who is on whose side, resulting in plenty of bloodshed, rivalries, and confusion. Caught in the middle is Madeline (Vera Farmiga), a psychiatrist who becomes caught in a love triangle between Costigan and Sullivan.
This is an epic crime drama that boasts the pathos of Greek tragedy: it is rather affecting and thrillingly assembled, with a slew of brilliant Oscar-caliber performances, even as much as the smaller parts from Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen. This film crackles with energy in every frame, and although long, is utterly compelling from start to finish and finally won Scorsese that Oscar!
An absolutely fantastic, engaging crime drama from the master of the mob film. Filled to the brim with ultra-violence, foul language, an abundance of humour, and bolstered by superb performances from literally all involved, this film is a classic in the making. One could even go as far as to deem it superior to the original film.
The Departed is a 2006 film, directed by Martin Scorcese and starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.
Billy Costigan (Di Caprio), a trainee state trooper is asked to become an undercover agent and infiltrate the organisation headed by Irish gangster Frank Costello (Nicholson). Unbeknownst to the police force, Costello had the same idea and a young man he funded in his early years, Colin Sullivan (Damon), has become a mole. Whilst Billy is becoming further entrenched in gangster life, with only Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and the volatile Sargeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) the only ones aware he is still a good guy, Sullivan is rising through the ranks within the police force. It's only a matter of time before one of them uncovers the truth about the other.
The Departed is an English language remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs from 2002, and those who dislike this film tend to have seen the original first. Having never seen Infernal Affairs I can only talk about The Departed in its own right - I think it's an excellent film, very tense cat and mouse tale with a few great performances. This was the film for which Scorcese finally bagged the best director Oscar. Whilst it was long overdue, and I do like this film, there are still Scorcese films which are better than this one. Having said that, between him and his loyal editor Thelma Schoonmaker he's produced a fast paced thriller with a great soundtrack. The only bit of the film that stretched it's credibility was a love triangle which felt contrived.
This film convinced me that Leonardo Di Caprio is a very good actor, who just seems to make some strange film choices. He provides Costigan with the necessary despair and loneliness his predictament would cause and really makes you hope he will be able to return to his normal life eventually. Damon, as the cocksure Sullivan is a mixture of arrogance, charisma and even weasly cowardice, helping us accept that this man could rise so high in the police force. Nicholson, for the most part, keeps his larger than life persona under control to pay the manevolent Costello but it is grating when he starts to overact. Mark Wahlberg was nominated for a best supporting actor role as Dignam, but he didn't have a lot to do other than shout at the other actors - still, he did that well! Alec Baldwin also offers a reminder of his talents as Captain Ellerby, also on Costello's trail who promotes Sullivan. He should get more work! Ray Winstone is the weak link for me as Mr French, with one of the worst American accents I've heard in a long time which proves distracting.
As mentioned, had I seen Infernal Affairs my opinion of this film may have changed but on the basis of what I saw, the original would have some way to go to be a more enjoyable crime thriller than this.
The Departed (Film Only Review)
The film follows two young men from very different sides of the track. They are both trying to make it in the Massachusetts Police Department but for very different reasons of their own!
Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) has grown up in less than favourable circumstances and he is now trying to prove to himself, prove to what's left of his family that he can be somebody on his own. He just wants to be a cop.
After graduating from the Police Academy, he is picked by Cpt. Queenan (Martin Sheen) to go undercover in the Irish Mafia.
Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) fell in with the wrong crowd at a young age. He is handpicked by Irish Mafia Boss, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) to sign up to the Police Academy to be his own undercover mole within the Police Department.
Needless to say, Billy ends up searching for Colin and Colin is trying to find the identity of Billy! All sorts of violence and bloodshed follow which makes for a thoroughly enjoyable film!
Directed by Martin Scorsese and released in 1996, this is not just a "Cops & Robbers" film. It is much, much more. There are strong morals and confrontations running through the film and the way that it is made is very clever indeed.
If you've ever watched a Scorsese film before and liked it (Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York, Goodfellas etc) then you should definitely give The Departed a go!
The Cast is second to none! Leonardo DiCaprio & Matt Damon play the lead characters and they both to a great job! They have both played some pretty big roles in other films but when watching The Departed they really make you forget about their other performances and they just drag you in to the film!
Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin... Just a few of the amazing co-stars! What a great list! Jack Nicholson as the Mafia Boss is just amazing, very dark but also strangely light-hearted at times!
At 151 minutes it does go on for quite a while. I was very entertained all the way through despite this. My girlfriend who I watched this with got a little restless towards the end and she thought it was just a little too long. I think it's more of a bloke's film but I think it can be watched by all... Well, over 18's of course!
The soundtrack to The Departed is great with "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones being the main song throughout the film. There is quite a bit of Irish music in the film that fits in with the Irish Mafia themes too.
As I've said, I really enjoyed this film as I didn't know what to expect of it before I put it on. It is full of great performances and they really make this film so believable. If you're a fan of DiCaprio or Damon then this is a film you have to see. If you like the whole Copper/Gangster genre, then this is a must-see!
The departed is about the Boston State police trying to catch an organised Irish gang, led by Costello (Nicholson) by placing a rat in their gang, Billy COstigan (DiCaprio). In the mean time, Costello has got his own rat in the police force who ironically has been given the job of finding the rat in the police force, who of course is himself. The stoy begins to esculate ereally quickly to produce a gripping story throughout.
The cast is as follows:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Billy Costigan
Matt Damon ... Colin
Jack Nicholson ... Costello
Mark Wahlberg ... Dignam
Martin Sheen ... Queenan
Ray Winstone ... Mr. French
They all, notably Nicholson with his quirky one liners and DiCaprio really showing his fear, have excellent performances with each personality being conveyed extremly well to the viewer.
Overall, the film is an excellent portrayal into the gang life and harsh truth of being a rat and difinitely deserves the oscar nomination it recieved.
This is Scorsese's third film with Leonardo DiCaprio, after Gangs of New York and The Aviator. The pair seem to gel, bringing out the best in Leo, who's done remarkably well in getting away from his boyish Titanic persona and bringing out a rougher yet vulnerable edge. Along with Leo, The Departed boasts an impressive cast; Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg (with silly hair).
The plot is based on 2002's Infernal Affairs. and features DiCaprio as an undercover cop who's infiltrated Nicholson's organised crime gang. Damon is part of Nicholson's crew, but he works as a high ranking police officer. When word gets out on each side that there's a rat in their midst, the danger to each rat increases, as does their desperation to avoid capture and track each other down. In typical Scorsese style, the characters are gradually etched out, deepened and developed. There's no hurry, but it never drags. The story sucks you in, envelops you, so that when tension starts to build you really feel it, right in your gut.
The performances were spot on. DiCaprio knitting that brow of his into tortured angst, Damon cold, calculating and refreshingly dangerous, Nicholson craggy, bonkers - as you'd expect, really - but he's held in control enough to create a menacing mob boss rather than a cartoon one. There's the theme of identity as the two rats struggle to retain a sense of self throughout their double lives, and some achingly nerve wracking moments as each rat gets closer to the truth.
It's a shame that the carefully paced story gets a little unravelled towards the end. A lot seems to suddenly happen in quick bursts, and it doesn't completely satisfy given the brilliant first two hours. But regardless, this is still a great film, with plenty of re-watch potential.
Years ago, a powerful Irish mafia figure placed a small selection of his youngest, brightest men into the Massachusetts Police Academy as cadets. Their purpose is to eventually rise within the prestigious ranks of the city's police department, to serve as the eyes and ears of their boss. While somewhere else, a young cadet was assigned with an equally dangerous task: infiltrate the Irish syndicate headed by the man sending in his own to the Boston Police. Now, one cadet is an up and coming police official with a torn allegiance to his job and to the criminal mastermind that put him there. While the other cadet is the trusted number two of that man, only finding his professional duties are becoming blurred with his current state. But new clues have lead to unfortunate discoveries, when both sides realize they're being watched by the enemy. It's now all just a matter of time before the men assigned to find out whose the infiltrator, could come to a bloody end when someone's identity may be revealed.