Finally receiving Academy Awards wins for “Best Achievement in Directing” and “Best Motion Picture of the Year”, Martin Scorsese brings to you, The Departed (2006). Putting on another epic scaled production, Scorsese gathers another epic cast. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Martin Sheen… do I need to continue? The narrative centers around, Billy Costigan (DiCaprio), a South Boston policeman assigned to an undercover job to infiltrate an Irish-run mob organized by the head, Frank Costello (Nicholson). As Billy gains the trust of the mobster, Frank works on the other end and devises a plan of his own. He sends criminal, Colin Sullivan (Damon), to infiltrate the Boston police force in order to report on all police work and investigative activity to Costello. Soon, both forces learn they have a mole amongst their people, forcing Billy and Colin to discover each other’s true identities to save their own lives. The film follows both character’s trials while stepping on each other’s toes, and traces them down until one DEPARTS.
Instead of the Italian-Americans tearing up New York City in Goodfellas (1990), Scorsese takes another approach. Likewise, the world of underground crime is no stranger to the director, but an Irish led mafia in Boston is! Another perspective switch from Scorsese! This is a different gangster movie. "The Departed takes a more complex look at law enforcement and organized crime than most mob films, layering the film with Catholic guilt and impossible moral choices. It is a film of ambiguity, with no happy resolutions for anyone” (Michel). DiCaprio and Damon’s characters are thrown into a tank and broken down as humans to their core. Asking how far will they go against their ethical choices. Another study on human nature done by Scorsese.
Winning best “Best Achievement in Directing” and “Best Motion Picture of the Year”, that was not it for The Departed. The film also earns “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay” and “Best Achievement in Film Editing” along with a nominee for Wahlberg’s performance. Although well-deserved and virtually flawless, this not Scorsese’s best work. The awards and accolades seemingly feel more of a “thank you” to the long, fruitful career of the director. Putting that aside, The Departed immediately draws the audience in and flows their bodies with nerves as the story unfolds. The thick Boston accents also give you a laugh, making the film as a whole one of the most rewatchable in the Scorsese catalog.
Story/Plot – 19/20 Direction – 20/20 Acting - 20/20
Cinematography – 19/20 Score/Soundtrack – 18/20
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