Classic Review – The Departed (2006)

Title – The Departed (2006)

Director – Martin Scorsese (Silence)

Cast – Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winstone

Plot – In the rugged streets of Boston, undercover cop Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) and detective/mob mole Colin Sullivan (Damon) work tirelessly to uncover the identity of each other before it’s too late.

“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me”

Review by Eddie on 27/06/2019

When veteran director Martin Scorsese walked up to collect his Best Director Oscar in 2007 for his efforts with Hollywood remake The Departed, it felt like justice had finally been served.

After many a miss (hello Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Aviator, Casino etc. etc.), cinema fans breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the long-standing master finally get his just rewards and while it’s hard to argue against the fact that The Departed is unlikely to be Scorsese’s best work, it’s one of his most easily accessible and fun films that remains a joy to watch to this day.

Utilizing a whip smart and darkly humorous script by scribe William Monahan, that adapted Asian mega-hit Infernal Affairs for English audiences and transported the action from Asia to the thick drawl of Boston, The Departed is one of the most successful reimagining’s of all time thanks to the screenwriter, Scorsese’s energetic and perfectly paced direction and a collection of stars who shine together in an all-round ensemble.

Front and centre of the cat and mouse game that sees an undercover mob affiliate infiltrate the Boston police department while simultaneously a Boston police office infiltrates the local mob, is lead trio Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson, who all deliver seriously fun and switched on turns with fantastic help from the likes of Vera Farmiga, Mark Wahlberg (in an Oscar nominated supporting turn), Alec Baldwin and Ray Winstone.

Scorsese struck it lucky with the casting of his 2006 film with both DiCaprio and Damon operating at the peak of their powers, while also snaring Nicholson before he fell into relative obscurity and it’s a cinematic treat to see these performers eat up the rich and sassy dialogue and play off each other to great effect as the stories twisted and ever evolving plotline transforms.

The Departed is one of those rarely found films that continually stays on the move, barely allowing you time to stop and take a moments respite as DiCaprio’s undercover cop Billy Costigan, Damon’s undercover mob mole Colin Sullivan and Nicholson’s purple adorned crime boss Frank Costello go about their respective lives, with Scorsese’s film becoming a thriller that genuinely keeps you on the edge of your seat, culminating in one of the most unforgettable and at the times unexpected endings, that recalls many a wide jawed reaction for those that caught this classic in cinemas (myself included).

Final Say –

It’s not Scorsese’s best film but its absolutely one of his most enjoyable. The Departed may not offer anything deep and meaningful but this seriously addictive thriller is the type of cinematic ride we should all enjoy that rightfully ended up becoming one of the most memorable films of the mid 2000’s.

4 ½ rat impressions out of 5             

3 responses to “Classic Review – The Departed (2006)

  1. Great post! As you wrote, not the best Scorsese movie by any stretch of the imagination, but still very enjoyable and with an immense cast!

    • Oh mate so enjoyable! Still holds up really well to this day thanks to the great script, cast and energetic atmosphere.
      E

  2. Definitely one of my favorites! So many great lines from “Cranberry juice,” to “Microprocessors” (camels).

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