151 Min | Crime – Drama – Thriller | October 2006
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Director: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
The Departed Review: Director Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed”, a gangster flick based from the Hong Kong thriller “Internal Affairs”, goes without saying as perhaps his best work since “Goodfellas.” Working on a genre that’s right up his territory, Scorsese is back on top of his game and recreates a new dimension to the genre. This crime thriller treads the same theme as much of its director’s previous films does. The Departed is about two young men, the people around them, and the complications brought about by their characters’ ambiguity.
The Departed set in Boston, the Massachusetts State Police sends young cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to go undercover and infiltrate an Irish mob syndicate where he quickly earns the trust of leader Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Meanwhile, Costello’s informant Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) works for the police department’s Special Investigation Unit. Soon, stakes are raised when both the police and the mob realize there’s a traitor among them, and that both Billy and Collin are both in danger of losing their cover and even their lives. Nicholson, yet again playing another villain, owns every scene he’s in with his portrayal of Costello, providing a paradoxical attraction to his menacing character.
DiCaprio, increasingly maturing as an actor since becoming Scorsese’s “muse”, fits right in as the streetwise cop, while Damon brings his usual authoritatively calm demeanor to the part. They are complemented by the ensemble performances of Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg and Vera Farmiga. Scriptwriter William Monahan (“Kingdom of Heaven”) retains much of the structure of “Internal Affairs” but adds depth to its characters and an acerbic quality to its witty dialog. The cinematography by Michael Ballhaus is brooding and morbid, capturing the character of its Boston setting while Howard Shore’s score is as good as a soundtrack can be. At its core, “The Departed” is a well-crafted, well-written, and well-acted film noir. In an age where style usually triumphs over the narrative quality.
Links to Download ‘The Departed’ in the excellent SQ print: