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THE DEPARTED by Martin Scorsese

jack nicholsonmatt damonleonardo di capriovera farmigacell phone

Two men in the Boston State Police, Billy Costigan (Leonardo Di Caprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) – each of them is undercover. Billy is officially evicted from the police acadamy, jailed for a short time and planted undercover in Irish crime-lord Frank Costello’s (Jack Nicholson) gang. Only two men know Billy’s identity – Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) and Oliver Queenan (Martin Sheen). And Colin is undercover for Frank Costello – he is his informer within the State Police.
They live the life of each other – Colin climbs the ranks in the State Police, lives in a nice apartment and dates attractive psychologist Madolyn (Vera Farmiga), while Billy lives as one of Costello’s henchmen – and gets close to Madolyn as well.
Life becomes ever more precarious for Billy and Colin when both the State Police and Costello suspect there’s a mole in their team.

Marty Scorsese is back on the mean streets with THE DEPARTED and a stellar cast – leads Leonardo Di Caprio (one of his finest performances ever), Matt Damon (great), Mark Wahlberg as the foulmouthed undercover handler (also a career top performance) and Jack Nicholson as brutal maniac Costello (he is Jack Nicholson, a bit over the top, but not too much), and superb supporting actors Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga and Alec Baldwin.
Add Michael Ballhaus’ beautiful photography, Howard Shore’s score and Thelma Schoonmaker’s perfect editing, William Monahan’s sharp script based on Hong Kong cop thriller Infernal Affairs (Wu jian dao), and the outcome should finally earn Martin Scorsese the Oscar for Best Director.
THE DEPARTED deals with the classic themes of identity (Frank Costello: When I was your age they used to say you could become cops or criminals. What I’m saying to you is this… When you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference?) and betrayal (almost everybody in this film betrays somebody – Madolyn: “And I thought that I was the liar in this relationship!”) , brilliantly cutting the very different but all the same similar lifes of Billy and Colin against each other in parallel montages, relationships (Costello is a father figure for both Billy and Colin, Colin’s relationship with Madolyn is used to hint at his closed personality, allowing no real intimacy, while Billy is just as lonely as Colin, but emotionally open and sensitive), the Irish soul (Colin: “I’m fucking Irish, I’ll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.” “The Irish are the only group impervious to psychoanalysis”) and justice – even minor mistakes are not allowed, and everybody gets what he deserves in THE DEPARTED.

Excursion: About mobile phones:
Almost everybody has one, many have two of them. Mobile phones, a blessing and a curse (Cell) in real life, and a curse for every modern thriller. Too often in too many movies you just have to think “Why don’t they use their bl**dy mobile phone to get help/backup!”
Not so in THE DEPARTED. Mobile phones are used throughout the film, by everybody and in every situation – just like in real life. Which is a good thing, because it’s real. And a bad thing, because it’s still very novel and somehow feels out of place in a cop/gangster movie. Luckily, there were no mobile phones in the times of Goodfellas or Once Upon a Time in America.


The Departed Movie Trailer

One Response to “THE DEPARTED by Martin Scorsese”

  1. Matthew McConaughey is Surfer Dude - Thai Entertainment Blog Says:

    […] THE DEPARTED by Martin Scorsese Two men in the Boston State Police, Billy Costigan (Leonardo Di Caprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) – each of them is undercover. Billy is officially evicted from the police acadamy, jailed for a short time and planted undercover in Irish crime-lord Frank Costello’s (Jack Nicholson) gang. Only two men know Billy’s identity – […] […]

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