Claes' Review of The Departed
when i first heard about the plans to remake [b]Infernal Affairs[/b], a favorite film of mine, i was highly skeptical. even though Martin Scorsese himself, the overlord of crime films, was attached to direct it, it just seemed like a bad idea. why do a remake of such a great film, what could possibly be improved upon? not even the trailers wowed me that much.. but then the reviews came. it went from a potentially good crime film to a potential Best Picture Oscar nominee. even other fans of [b]Infernal Affairs[/b] started to say that Scorsese made the story into his own film, he did it right. my expectations certainly rose hearing such words, but of course i remained a bit skeptical. i figured it'd be a good movie (it's such a great story after all), but i really didn't think it could equal or topple the original.
now i have finally seen [b]The Departed[/b] and it's a great film. consider me a convert. not that i ever loudly expressed displeasure about [b]The Departed[/b] getting made, but i certainly didn't think i'd like it as much as i did. i would actually say that i find both films equal. there are things about the original that are better (and it'll always be the original), but there are plenty of new ingredients and flavors in [b]The Departed[/b] that make it possibly a more entertaining and funny film than the original too. for example, i can't even remember the mob boss in [b]Infernal Affairs[/b], and in [b]The Departed[/b] we get a delicious performance by Jack Nicholson.
and you can't complain about a cast like this either. it's one terrific performance after another, some of them gripping, others just pure fun, and no one sticks out like a sore thumb either. the writing and direction, as well as the film's technical credits are outstanding too, as one would expect from a master filmmaker like Scorsese.
perhaps the most satisfying aspect about this whole project is that it's likely to be the film that finally wins Martin Scorsese a Best Director Oscar. even if i hadn't liked it, that still would've made it all worth while. it'll be a bit weird that he wins it for a remake, but on the other hand, [b]The Departed[/b] is just as much a classic Scorsese film as anything else he's done in his career. it'll definitely be the film i'll root for at the Oscars next month, as one of the best films of 2006.