The Departed (2006)
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Review Date: January 01, 2007
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: William Monahan
Producers: Brad Pitt, Brad Grey, Martin Scorsese
Jack Nicholson as Frank
Leonardo DiCaprio as Billy
Matt Damon as Colin
Set in Boston within the Irish gangland community, a young cop infiltrates the mob in order to help out the good guys, while another one flips the other way, and decides to become a mole on the inside, for the mob. What follows is a series of events, backstabs, kills and tons of cellular phone calls, many of which end in blood, screams, chicks with cocaine in bed with Jack Nicholson and yet another impressive crime drama conducted by maestro Scorsese. Aaaaaaand…begin!!
I love Martin Scorsese and I don’t care who knows it! Seriously man, anytime I’m down or starting to feel like the movie “biz” is just turning into a fuckin’ business with dumbed-down pieces of movie being tossed into the multiplexes developed under the most low-risk business plans in the latest top executive MBA’s blackberry, Marty friggin’ Scorsese comes along and creates yet another cinematic opera that dazzles in style, story, character, violence, music and drama, and I’m back in front of my measly laptop, singing his worthy praises! You gotta love this guy with movies like TAXI DRIVER, CAPE FEAR, GOODFELLAS, RAGING BULL, CASINO and so many other classics under his belt, and yet another crime-filled fiesta here featuring Irish hooligans from Boston backstabbing, policing, monitoring and ratting the shit out of one another. This film is jampacked with suspense, twists, turns and a whole bunch of dual identities and if you think that you can go out for a tray of nachos during the movie and come back to figure it all out, think again, as you really need to stay focused in order to keep up with all of the festivities. But, under the watchful eye of Dr. Scorsese, you really get drawn into it all as it moves along until its final blazing finale, that much like the films mentioned above, will leave an impact on your brain and then some!

But I don’t wanna turn this entire review into a Scorsese slurp-fest, so allow me to note some of the other memorable mentions featured in this film, specifically the awesome turns by many in the cast, like the always-engaging Jack Nicholson, sporting a goatee and scaring the shit out of my non-Irish ass, Leonardo DiCaprio, also kicking thespian ass under the continued tutelage of his director-of-choice these days, and little Mattie Damon, in a less splashy role, also playing his cards to perfection. Add that to a sweet part played by Martin Sheen, an indelible mark left by Nicholson’s right-hand man Mr. French aka Ray Winstone, in a role that also spooked my still-non-Irish ass, and the man who can always put a smile on my face and a hard-on in my pocket, Alec Baldwin, doing what he does best here, which is to stare angrily at people, deliver lines like a pitbull and act the shit out of his fun character. I honestly didn’t care much for the “convenience” of Vera Farmiga’s character (although she certainly acted well), still have no idea what comedic actor Anthony Anderson was doing in this movie and didn’t initially warm up to Mark Wahlberg in his part (I think they should have cast someone older), but all in all, the cast was a blast, playing each part off one another like a great chess match set up via the poetic images swirling through Scorsese’s mind.

Add to that, the interweaving of complementary songs throughout the movie, a hefty amount of blood and violence, and of course, honor, loyalty and all that other jazz that thieves like to believe will keep them alive and going for a long, long time. Like those dudes I was best buddies with in high school wrote in my yearbook, I’d like to say to Mr. Scorsese: “Don’t ever change…always stay the same and let’s always stay in touch.” Ironically, I changed and never heard from any of those guys again, but you get what I’m saying, right Marty? Marty? PS: If you didn’t catch this the first time around, check out the cameo by an actual rat during the film’s final shot…classic stuff.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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