When I first caught wind of The Departed, I thought it was an excellently clever premise, but thought little else. The idea of a cop force and a mob gang each having a mole in each other’s camps, trying to find out who the other one is before being caught themselves, was incredibly intriguing to me, but I didn’t expect the film to be as good as this ends up being. Of course, back then, I didn’t really know who Martin Scorsese was, or why this film was so anticipated before it came out and swept the minds away from most critics. Well, now I know, and now that I do, I’d like to take a closer, more in-depth look at what many are calling Marty Scorsese’s modern-day masterpiece.
Scorsese’s New York sensibilities are on prime display here, after a bit of a break from crime dramas. Funny, considering this film is actually set in Boston, and yet Scorsese’s style as a director is still perfectly suited to the film at hand, mostly thanks to the subject matter. The film is so much more than its premise, though; there is so much happening that the film never gets stale or even tired, in both uses of the word – it just propels forward without care as to the wreckage it may leave in its wake, as long as the story is told, and told it is. I won’t say too much about the plot, other than Scorsese is so dispensable with his characters you would think this was a Tarantino film; the last 15 minutes alone will have your heart completely stopped.
This film championed one thought more than any other: Scorsese is back. And not just as a director; the New York, mean street-wise up-and-comer has matured into a hell of a director, without losing any of his roots (as long as he chooses to use them). There was no question this was going to take home Best Picture; it is that good of a film. That Scorsese finally walked away with his first Best Director prize as well is only icing on the cake. Definitely see this one, even if Scorsese isn’t normally your thing. It may not change your mind, but you’ll still be enthralled through the entire production.
Arbitrary Rating: 10/10