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Monday, October 30, 2006

The Departed Review

Compelling, violent but overall fantastic and in my opinion the best Scorcese film ever released. Usually in a cinematic environment I generally feel that if the film is not in the least bit gripping, I find myself looking at my watch waiting for it to end, but with this film I was looking at my watch hoping it wouldn’t end. Characterisation was brilliant, screenplay was air-tight, and visual effects were pulled off perfectly (for instance gunshot victims were made incredibly realistic ergo more disturbing). In regards to the music score, I have never heard the ‘Rolling Stones’ used so perfectly in a film, it gave the film an atmosphere which was projected on to you from the very beginning.

The film displays two storylines from either side of the tracks, a bent cop and an undercover cop. Without giving too much away, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) is a mob boss and Mr French (Ray Winstone) is his right hand man. Right from the start, the two make a fantastic entrance with the killing of a couple of unknowns, Nicholson portraying the most vindictive, callous attitude I have seen him display since ‘The Shining’. Costello manages to take Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) under his wing, as a child, and Sullivan grows up with the understanding that crime pays. Out of his respect for Costello, Sullivan joins the cops in order to assist him.

Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a man who grew up on the streets with only the peerage of street gangsters and chooses to fight against the only life he ever knew by joining the cops. Through doing this he is given the opportunity to infiltrate Costello’s organisation. The story takes you on a ride of action and suspense that is so vivid I never thought was possible to capture on film – until now! When suspicion arises on both sides, you are witness to the most perfectly executed (excuse the pun) gun battles and to scenes of an extreme and excessive nature.

The film is not without the charms of some other particularly famous actors such as Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg and the delightful appearance of Martin Sheen, without whom this film would not have been the same. The younger actors in DiCaprio, Damon and Wahlberg fitted in perfectly here and The Departed will hopefully open up more opportunities for them to act within the gangster related film genre.

In conclusion from start to finish the twists turns and retribution were carried out to sheer perfection, everything you have come to expect from a Martin Scorcese film plus more.

Ponyboy Cinematic Review of the Month - credit to Marc Blakey


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