Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Departed



Okay I had to see it. I love Martin Scorsese, and I’m a big fan. I was not disappointed. Scorsese has a knack about telling tales of criminals and cops. It’s a genre I don’t think he can fail at. I’ve grown up watching Scorsese and have enjoyed his tenacity. From “Mean Streets” to “Goodfellas” Scorsese never disappoints. He’s a true American maverick. Is it his New York roots that make him so unique? Scorsese knows how to tell a story. His dialogue in a lot of his movies seems true, and you seem transported to another world where most of us wouldn’t survive.

I had heard about the reviews, and no matter what I wanted to see this film. It’s a hard driven character piece, which has multiple characters. Jack Nicholson plays a crime boss named Frank Costello. He is the head of a gang of Irish Mafioso who does battle with the Boston State police. I have to say that I was interested in the characters & it’s story. By the final reel everything falls apart. It is the inevitable conclusion that made me think. Is there something new here? Isn’t this a story as old as time? All our protagonists pay for it in the end, and in drama they usually do. I won't go into the end and spoil it for the people who did not see it, but the ending seemed hollow to me. It just seemed a way to wrap everything up, and I didn’t buy it. I still liked the movie, but it kind of fell flat. Maybe it's because I was so interested in the characters that I wanted to know a bit more detail on them. This is to Scorsese's credit. Scorsese always develops interesting characters for us to travel with.

So is this a movie any good? I’d argue the point that any Scorsese film is a must see because Scorsese brings to his films a depth that few filmmakers do. The characters ring true to us & we identify with something in their persona. Even the bad protagonists have some human quality that we can identify with, and that’s what makes a Scorsese films interesting and so fascinating to watch.
The cinematography is outstanding, and Michael Ballhaus gives the story a nice feel. Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing is as always flawless, and riveting. The acting is top notch, and the actors even get the Boston accent down perfect. Scorsese uses a lot of music in his film and I always wonder what the budget for music licenses are on his films, but I like how the director uses the music to convey emotion & a certain period of time. Scorsese has used popular music in many of his films in the past and many other films have tried to duplicate what Scorsese does.

The film clocks in at 152 minutes, but there is a lot of story here, and it all works. Like I said the ending had me just a bit disappointed. It came quick, and the old double, double cross just doesn’t ring true. In fact at the end Matt Damon’s character is suddenly shunned by people. Although WE know why his character is disliked it makes no logical sense that other characters would know that. Maybe something was cut out for times sake, and we’ll see it on the DVD. I may have said already too much, but I don’t think anyone will be disappointed by this movie or the things I've already revealed. Scorsese takes us on a trip into the bowels of corruption & criminality in Boston and how they commingle and ultimately explode into violence. The story comes down to a battle between good & evil and why sometimes good people do evil things in the name of justice.

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