Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Whalberg, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga
Synopsis: While a South Boston cop called Costigan (DiCaprio) goes undercover in a gang organisation led by Castello (Nicholson) at the same time one of Castello’s men, Sullivan (Damon) goes undercover to infiltrate the State Police team charged with capturing Castello himself. While both are aiming for the trust of each side, the search for the ‘rat’ in the Police and the ‘rat’ in Castello’s shadow becomes paramount. Thus the chase between Costigan and Sullivan (and vice versa) takes centre stage as tensions rise.
From that description the film sounds quite serious, and in some ways it is. But the hilarious writing (especially for Mark Whalberg’s character: Sgt. Dignam) and snippy dialogue defuses every scene. Martin Scorsese creates a wonderful little world full of interesting, smart, emotional characters. The Departed is excellently directed and a delight for any wannabe filmmaker/cinephile, while still being equally interesting for the average viewer due to it’s complicated and engaging plot. The camera work, editing and use of music are all fascinating in their own right, manifesting a re-watch-ability that’ll keep you coming back for more. (I watched it for the first time two days ago, and I’ve already seen it three times…)
Watch If You Liked: Any Martin Scorsese film, The Town, No Country For Old Men, Internal Affairs
Rating: 10/10 (Any films unconvincing use of female characters would bother me a lot, but The Departed is technically too good to let this affect it’s overall quality and direction)
Words by Eddie Michael