The Departed Reviews
This is my Golden Rule on both remakes in general, but especially American remakes of international (particularly foreign-language) great films. When in doubt, check the label:
1. Director? (check)
2. Cast? (check)
3. Script? (check)
'The proof is in the pudding!'
Already considered a modern-day classic, this Scorsese movie is one of his best, featuring great performances from everyone involved and a twisty-turny screenplay that's vastly entertaining, all backed up with his unique style
Brilliant crime-drama from master director Martin Scorsese. Slick, clever, watertight plot. The symmetry and interdependence of the two adversaries makes for a very intriguing story and nail-biting situations. Often they have a piece of the puzzle but to get the complete picture and identify the mole they have to break their own cover, creating some very tense situations.
Some great character-based drama too, especially involving Costigan. The love triangle involving Madolyn (Vera Farmiga) was a nice touch.
The Departed is an adaptation of the Hong Kong crime-drama Infernal Affairs. Similar plots but The Departed has deeper characters, more interesting sub-plots and wittier dialogue. For these reasons I rate The Departed higher than Infernal Affairs.
Historic movie too in that it gave Scorsese his first Oscar, at last. After six nominations previously with no award, he won Best Director for The Departed. When you look at what he was previously nominated for - Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, among others - and consider those he should have been nominated for - Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy - then you have to consider him incredibly unlucky. That, or the Academy doesn't like him.
On the subject of people the Academy doesn't like, Leanardo DiCaprio puts in a great performance as Costigan. His was the more difficult of the two lead roles, as Costigan was a much more complex character than Sullivan. Matt Damon hardly had to stretch himself for his role. Sadly, though not unsurprisingly considering DiCaprio's history with the Oscars, DiCaprio didn't even get an Oscar nomination for his efforts.
Mark Wahlberg did get a nomination, as Best Supporting Actor. He puts in a good performance as the over-the-top, obnoxious, no-nonsense Staff Sergeant Dignam. It's debatable whether the nomination was deserved. The performance does stand out, however, due to the colourfulness of the character.
Remaining cast is pretty much an all-star one and includes Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga and Ray Winstone. All of them deliver in spades, as do the minor players.
A 21st century classic.