Movie Review: THE DEPARTED (2006)
Martin Scorsese is considered in many circles a God of filmmaking. And despite that, he hadn’t received an Oscar until his awesome 2006 crime thriller… THE DEPARTED.
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
Headlining THE DEPARTED is an intergenerational cast of the most awesome actors in the industry. But we’ll get to that later.
THE DEPARTED is basically about two sides of the same coin. One the one side you’ve for the Mafia element of a city, and on the other, the cops trying to hunt ‘em down. Now both these elements each have a mole on the other side, relaying information to them to better their own agendas. THE DEPARTED is the story about those 2 moles.
Supported financially from a young age, and being a local boy, Matt Damon’s Colin was encouraged by a mob boss to join the Police Department and quickly rise within its ranks. This way the Mob has their own mole in the system so they can stay one step ahead. The Mob Boss? The fan-fucking-tastically awesome Jack Nicholson, turning out an amazing, albeit familiar performance.
Now on the flip side, we’ve got Leonardo Vicario’s Billy, who gets recruited into being an undercover officer for the Cops straight out of the academy due to his, odd personal life. Coming from a privileged background and broken home, Billy had to pretend to be two different people in his youth, depending on which parent he was with. Add to this a genius IQ and a well-known uncle who was a small time Mob member himself, and he was the perfect person to go undercover, against his will.
THE DEPARTED is a continuously suspense filled adrenaline rush that never lets up. The entire movie is about these two characters, so much so that we forget what side they’re on. At face value, you’d think Damon’s Colin would be the ‘bad guy’, while Vicario’s Billy is the ‘good guy’, but that’s not the case. The situation both men find themselves in, part of a bigger picture is sympathetic and gut wrenchingly desperate.
What really gets you about THE DEPARTED is the story. The constant back and forth and breathtaking layers of story, and intense scenes which are outdone with each scene after, just leaves the audience drained. It’s a Martin Scorsese joint through and through, because he handles all these twists and turns with brilliant ease.
The cast is probably one of the most massive and ambitious assembly of awesome personified that one could find in a movie. On top of Leonardo DiCaprio & Matt Damon in the leads, you’ve got Jack Nicholson. In his old age, it seems that Nicholson keeps doing the ‘crazy & quirky’ roles, and this is no different, but it’s awesome. Then there’s Mark Wahlberg as the BEST foulmouthed and aggressive Sergeant that I’ve ever seen. Backing him up as his partner and superior is the somber Martin Sheen. As Nicholson’s sidekick we’ve got the brilliant character actor, Ray Winstone. Vera Farmigia is charming as a police psychologist. And rounding off the ensemble is Alec Baldwin, who’s a mix of his younger dramatic self and his more recent comedic self.
THE DEPARTED has so many layers upon layers of story that one can get lost in the complications it brings up throughout. It’s a cat and mouse story, where you’re not sure who you’re rooting for and the twists sneak up on you like a bullet to the head. It’s a great ride and one of Scorsese’s best!
Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop · November 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM
Nice review mate. Big fan of this film!
Shah Shahid · November 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Thanks man. I love it too!
Abbi · November 9, 2013 at 4:13 AM
It’s a great film but I don’t think most people realise it’s a remake of Infernal Affairs… which I actually thought was better!
Shah Shahid · November 10, 2013 at 10:43 PM
The INFERNAL AFFAIRS Trilogy (I think) has been on my list for a while. I feel that Scorsese legitimized the trend of ‘remakes’ of foreign films with THE DEPARTED.
Abbi · November 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM
The first two are great… the third one less so.
Mark Walker · November 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM
Fine work here Shah! I couldn’t agree more. There were a few plot holes here and there but they were minuscule. It’s just a fabulous film.
Shah Shahid · November 23, 2013 at 1:13 PM
Hey Mark, Thanks for the comment.
Yea I noticed the plot holes too, but the put together-ness of everything else made me ignore them.
Can’t wait to watch INFERNAL AFFAIRS.