Matinee: The Departed

August 30, 2011 § Leave a comment


There are certain things that I consider to be as close to perfection as possible. Scrambled eggs on toast. Paolo Di Canio’s scissor kick against Wimbledon. Bruce Springsteen’s Asbury Park album. Original recipe Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum and most possibly Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.

Scorsese is not just one of the greatest auteur film makers of his generation, but he is certainly the most consistent. But Scorsese’s brilliance has very little to do with consistency, Scorsese’s brilliance comes directly from his willingness to break new ground in film making and test the waters of how a movie should look. Scorsese’s stylised directing style, aggressive camera-work, rapid editing, complex tracking shots, the importance of soundtrack and score and montage are all consistent in Scorsese’s films, you could probably create a check list and tick them off one by one. But his trademark directing style doesn’t make his films predictable, Scorsese is anything but that. He is a magician. An architect. An artist, and The Departed is Scorsese’s Sistine Chapel.

Scorsese’s genius, partnered with William Monohan’s wonderful script, magnificently brought to life by probably one of the greatest ensemble casts ever. DiCaprio and Damon’s battle to see who is more macho, Jack Nicholson’s Satan incarnate, Marky Mark’s beautiful foul mouthed sarcasm alongside Martin Sheen’s calm voice of reason, Alec Baldwin’s fierce Glengarry Glenn Ross-esque delivery, mixed in a pot and simmered gently for two and a half hours make for a stunning, thrilling, tense, slick, relentless visceral tale of crime, human relationships and identity.

The Departed will lead you down one path, slap you in the face and then send you down another. And not since The Usual Suspects have I felt like applauding what I have just witnessed. The Departed is a masterpiece in cinema. And it may go down in cinema history as the only remake to obliterate it’s original. The Departed is a wonderfully crafted motion picture that might be, just might be, as close to perfection as possible.

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