The Departed is a gangster film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by William Monahan, and released by WB Pictures. It made its debut in 2006 and serves as a remake of the 2002 Hong Gang flick Internal Affairs while mixing elements from the Whitey Bulger case.
Staff Sergeant Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) goes to work for the Massachusetts State Police in their Special Investigations Unit under the command of Captain Ellerby (Alec Baldwin). Unknown to them, he is a spy for Boston gangster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and regularly sends him reports. Captain Oliver “Charlie” Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Sean Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) recruit state trooper William “Billy” Costigan Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) to go undercover in Costello’s organization and ask him to find the spy. He begins to see therapist Dr. Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga) who is dating Colin. After he acts dismissive to her, she assigns him a new therapist and they begin an affair even as the weight of being a lone snitch begins to weigh on him.
Okay, Martin Scorsese is a genius. The way he forms the plot is incredible. I know this had to be difficult considering the ensemble cast, but he held it all together. I cannot say I am anything short of impressed with how he showed the deadly game that playing with gangs can be. Scorsese would take home the Oscar for Best Director at the 2007 Academy Awards and it was well deserved.
As for the cast, everyone did a good job. The biggest standout was Jack Nicholson. He is such an incredible talent when it comes to acting. He is brilliant as Costello and brings a charming, but chilling aspect to the role. As I pointed out, the rest was excellent, but you can definitely tell Matt Damon grew up in the suburbs of Boston and not the actual city.
With the twists and turns, you get an uneasy feeling as you watch the corruption and demagoguery as the events unfold before you. You are pulled into this gangster world and it does not shy from the consequences or the toll the life of a gang can take on you. It was an impressive feat.
Bottom line, The Depart is another triumph for Martin Scorsese. He is a masterwork when it comes to filmmaking and you are pulled into this entry into his filmography.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong violence, Pervasive foul language, Sexual content, Substance abuse, Disturbing images
FAVORITE QUOTE: I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.
Check out the trailer below:
As of the writing of this review, I have not seen Internal Affairs, tragically.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.