The Departed is a 2006 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese which is a remake of the Chinese crime epic Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou). Scorsese and writer William Monaghan have transformed a foreign classic into a nerve-racking American crime thriller that remains as a masterpiece even today. It’s no surprise that The Departed took home four Oscars at the 79th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. Their excellent performances capture the true essence of the story.
Set in Boston, The Departed follows the story of Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) who is an Irish American crime boss’s protégé who joins the state police force as a mole for Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a police recruit who is assigned to infiltrate Costello’s group by Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Staff Sgt. Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) is an undercover cop known only to them.
Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga), a police psychiatrist, has a relationship with both Sullivan and Costigan. As each group becomes aware that it has been infiltrated, Sullivan and Costigan work to identify the mole’s identity while attempting to keep their duplicity hidden.
The events that follow and the ending suspense is both unexpected and satisfying. It also has a sense of mystery, which is enjoyable. It is DiCaprio and Damon who stand out with their performances because their characters are more sophisticated and demanding.
If you’re a film enthusiast, you will be able to appreciate the art of Scorsese directing. The film has numerous levels, each of which is difficult, which he masterfully handles. You will be blown away to know how even the tiniest details between shots have a strong connection to the overall plot and feel of the film.
The writer William Monahan keeps the original structure, but he adds depth to the characters and wonderfully brings out the complexities of the characters, particularly Billy and Colin. He has written an outstanding script, drawing on the storyline and twists accurately while immersing it with character, originality, and excellent dialogue.
If you are a hardcore fan of Tarantino films, you will enjoy this one as well. I must acknowledge that when a film has such an excellent cast, you get one of the year’s best films and that makes The Departed one among Scorsese’s best. In precise, The Departed is a well-made, well-directed, and well-written film that is made much better by its outstanding performances that you would not want to miss!
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