The Departed (2006)

No spoilers, so read on. Leonardo Dicaprio is so strong in this movie, so interesting to watch. I used to really dislike him, especially circa Titanic. Did not enjoy Gangs of New York or Aviator. His work here is electric. I know he works with Larry Moss – and I felt his acting to be deep.

I almost did not want to watch the film, because Scorsese’s work has been so disappointing for such a long time. Here, I think he has made his finest film since Goodfellas. The pacing is strong. Michael Ballaus does an amazing job as DP. Schoonmaker’s edit is top-notch. The tension remains high throughout. It is a nail-biter! And the ending really delivers, too.

The dual protagonists reminded me of another action film I like: John Woo’s Face Off.

Was it deserving of a Best Picture Oscar? I still prefer Letters from Iwo Jima and Little Miss Sunshine! But that is neither here nor there – should movies ever be compared like this? It is basically weighing subjective experiences that are filtered through memory.

Jack plays Jack, which is kind of boring (About Schmidt was the last time he blew me away). The female lead, who is sleeping with DiCaprio and Damon, is a little weak. There was a real potential here for this character who finds herself caught between these two men, and I find the actress a little lukewarm. Damon and Wahlberg are okay. Martin Sheen is fantastic though.

The one request I have though is this: Mr. Scorsese, please stop using the Rolling Stones in your movies. You think it’s cool, but it really isn’t. How do a half dozen Stones tracks from the early 1970’s belong in a story set in 2006? Truly, what does it bring?

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. I have yet to see the original film, Infernal Affairs, but I look forward to catching that soon – my library has it!


About kartiksingh

I have been living in Paris, France since 1996. I was born to Sikh parents who immigrated to the USA. I grew up outside of Kansas City, and at 18 went to Washington DC with the intention of becoming a diplomat. Five years later, I arrived in Paris and found my life purpose: to make films that bring hope, insight, and inspiration to the world. My debut feature film Callback premieres in September 2010 in New York. For more details on where you can see my films, look for me at
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2 Responses to The Departed (2006)

  1. daveednyc says:

    Hey man, we could have an hours-long discussion (though, that’s never been a problem w/ either of us) about this film. I loved it, espeicallly the performances. To me, it plays like an opera; I bet you can turn off the volume and play some exceptionally pathos-laden opera and still understand what was going on.

    — D

  2. davids86 says:

    Hello, nice review. However, I disagree about the soundtrack comments. I think that Scorsese uses so many tracks from the 60s and the Stones in particular because they underline a certain revolutionary violence that the shift in cultural values at that time represent. His characters are ALWAYS outcasts, and the music of the 60s is simply the music of outcasts everywhere. However, I will admit that it isn’t as effective in the Departed as it is in one of his period pieces. Finally, I definitely agree about the leading lady…her role had the most potential as a side character and she wasted it. Conversely, Marky Mark had a somewhat diminished role and he ended up blowing me away. Thanks for the review!

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