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Movies: The Departed
Tuesday, 2007 April 10 - 10:02 pm
Martin Scorsese's first Oscar-winning film is gritty and interesting.

"The Departed" is a story of a gang informant (William Costigan, played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and a corrupt police detective (Colin Sullivan, played by Matt Damon) who are each trying to discover the other's true identity. Costigan is recruited to infiltrate an Irish gang headed by Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Sullivan had grown up under Costello's wing, and now is his inside man inside the police special investigations unit.

It's a compelling story and a believable crime drama. The acting is mostly excellent, though Matt Damon occasionally shows his typical woodenness, and many characters can't seem to decide how thick to make their Boston accents. Mark Wahlberg has a relatively small role as Sergeant Sean Dignam, but his character his memorable and he plays the role with aplomb. Alec Baldwin is sometimes less than believable, partly because we've seen him in such goofy roles lately (like in "30 Rock"). Vera Farmiga has a rather poorly-written part as Madolyn Madden, a police psychiatrist who becomes the love interest of both Sullivan and Costigan; but, she manages to put a fair amount of emotion into the role.

It's certainly entertaining, but as far as gritty dramas go, I think a movie like "Mystic River" had more complex characters and emotion. I'm a little mystified at the Best Picture and Best Director awards for "The Departed", but I have to believe that the Academy was looking for an excuse to honor Scorsese.

Rating: 3.5 / 5
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Posted by Ken in: moviesreviews

Comments

Comment #1 from Phil (Guest)
2007 Apr 11 - 1:44 am : #
I, too, am mystified by the two Oscars. (Then again, I'm always mystified by the Oscars. Why can't I quit trying to understand?)

Like you, I thought the movie was entertaining, gritty, and interesting. I'm glad I saw it. But damn, what was with all the hype? (And all the awards?)

As my best friend pointed out, there were too many good actors for a single movie. There just wasn't enough room for each of them to do more than a little bit of acting, so what we got were too many well-done caricatures (Nicholson and Wahlberg, in my estimate), insufficiently developed caricatures (Baldwin and Sheen), or missed opportunities to really kick ass (DiCaprio and Damon).

Oh and don't get me started on the crap deal that the shrink got for lines, actions, and acting. If the joke was that the characters in the movie don't really have respect for (or interest in) women, then OK, haha. I get it. But it wasn't that funny. But if there wasn't any joke, they just did a bad job of giving her dumb things to say, in dumb ways, and for dumb reasons.

One annoying little thing that they did get me on -- why *didn't* that one mob guy (the older guy who died while talking with DiCaprio) not rat DiCaprio out? I don't think it was because of some shared affection for cranberry juice...
Comment #2 from Cori (Guest)
2007 Apr 11 - 11:27 am : #
You know, here I was thinking that Claire Forlani had been really good in the movie for once, and now thanks to this I learn it's because it wasn't Claire Forlani.
Comment #3 from Ken (realkato)
2007 Apr 12 - 12:28 am : #
Wow, they DO look alike. It hadn't even occurred to me until you mentioned it.
Comment #4 from Brett (Guest)
2007 Apr 18 - 9:25 am : #
"why *didn't* that one mob guy (the older guy who died while talking with DiCaprio) not rat DiCaprio out? I don't think it was because of some shared affection for cranberry juice..."

He was an undercover, as well.

I liked Leo in it. Thought he played his role well.

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