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The Departed October 5, 2006

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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I got to watch an advance screening of Martin Scorsese’s latest movie The Departed (releasing this friday) and it is a magnificent film. The movie boasts of a huge starcast with Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Di Caprio and Matt Damon in the key roles. They are ably supported by the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Vera Farmiga.

The movie is primarily a cop/gangster drama. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a cop who has been assigned to go undercover and join Jack Nicholson’s gang while Matt Damon plays a cop who has been planted by Nicholson to provide him information. How long can these two cops maintain their secrecy? Which of these rats is discovered first? Will the law catch up with the gangster? What happens at the end? Watch this on the big screen. I am really glad I did.

Jack Nicholson is expectedly brilliant as the devil incarnate. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon deliver strong performances. Its been a long time since I’ve seen a DiCaprio movie and I really liked him here. Among the supporting cast Mark Wahlberg gets an interesting role (most writers might have actually scrapped this role) and I was surprised me with his performance. The writing by William Monahan is excellent. There are splendid conversation and confrontation scenes filled with superb dialogue. Gripping and arresting are two words that describe the screenplay well. And the direction of course is excellent. Will Scorsese finally win an Oscar is predictably the biggest question in the minds of fans.

The movie is supposedly a remake of a Hong Kong movie called Wu jian dao (Mou gaan dou/Infernal Affairs) that was well liked by the critics as well as the audience. According to some, this movie improves on its original material and is a worthy remake.

We have seen many movies about undercover cops but this one sure beats most others that I have seen. Two cop dramas that have stuck in my mind in the past are P.C.Sreeram’s Drohi (Kurudhipunal in Tamil, which was a remake of Govind Nihlani’s Drohkaal) and Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential (in that order). I really enjoyed this one even more and would rate it higher than those two.

I know that some audience members hate Scorsese’s biopics like Raging Bull and Aviator or his other higly rated films like Taxi Driver and Goodfellas. Some people find those movies slow and pointless. However, this one is definitely not slow. After a certain point, it really moves at a searing pace. It has enough turns and twists (most of them aren’t predictable except the final one) to keep any average moviegoer happy.

This movie is R-rated and rightly so. Sensitive audience might want to keep away. The movie starts off well and continues to grow on you. At some points you do get the feeling that the movie might fall apart but fortunately it doesn’t. It goes from strength to strength culminating in a scintillating last half hour. Highly recommended. Don’t miss this one!

Comments»

1. Satya - October 11, 2006

Movie is not so gripping… It didn’t made me to sit at edge of the seat as expected from the review.

Felt much routine movie… not so interesting for me.

2. Sai - October 11, 2006

I guess I wouldn’t call it an edge of the seat thriller. I would refer to it more as a gripping drama with well fleshed out characters. It gives us a chance to understand their similarities and contrasts. It lets us get a sense of the moral ambiguities and their changing loyalties. There are some brilliant conversations. The characters and conversations get as much or more importance than the plot itself. That is what got me involved and made the movie so enjoyable for me. Otherwise, it would have been a normal 90-minute thriller with more action and explosions that are the norm for a commercial entertainer but the only thing fresh there would have been the basic premise..

3. Tarun - October 11, 2006

Man…u are killing me. Where the heck did u guys get to watch this movie? Really waiting for this movie to release

4. Sai - October 11, 2006

Hey Tarun,
It released last friday (Oct 6) in the US.

5. raj - November 7, 2006

hi guys
i am raj i am waiting for this movie to be released . hope it releases soon in india

6. faye - February 9, 2007

have just watched the film can any one explain the ending i am so lost

7. Sai - March 1, 2007

Please look at the Wikipedia page dedicated to the film for a detailed description including the climax

8. Holden Caulfield - June 29, 2008

Infernal Affairs is actually much better than the Departed because its very sad with its music especially when the bosses cop is killed something which was left out in The Departed.


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