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THE DEPARTED

Director: MARTIN SCORSESE

U.S.A.| 2006. COLOUR. ANAMORPHIC. DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO. 150 MIN.


MARTIN SCORSESE’S MOST OVERTLY COMMERCIAL WORK TO DATE, ‘THE DEPARTED’ IS FIRST AND FOREMOST A BRAVURA PIECE OF FILM-MAKING THAT RE-ESTABLISHES THE DIRECTOR’S REPUTATION.

Understandably reluctant to return to the crime movie genre, Scorsese says that he couldn’t resist the allure of a big budget, a starry cast, and most of all scriptwriter William Monaghan’s lively and inventive reworking of the 2002 Hong Kong thriller ‘Infernal Affairs’. Monaghan has relocated the story to an Irish-American milieu in Boston, where a deadly game of cat and mouse is being played out between state police officers and mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Both parties have a mole planted in the other’s camp, and the dramatic tension rises to breaking point as each man struggles furiously to unmask his rival before he himself is revealed or destroyed.

Employing the same kind of dynamic approach to cinematic storytelling that characterised ‘GoodFellas’ and ‘Casino’, Scorsese quickly establishes the parallel worlds of Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) and Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a talented pair of young cops who are opposite sides of the same coin. The cock-sure Sullivan is Costello’s mole in the police department, while the deeply conflicted Costigan has the more dangerous role of going undercover in Costello’s gang of murderous villains. Once again, Scorsese excels at capturing the tension and violence—both physical and psychological—that are a crucial part of all relationships in his films. Far from glorifying the world of gangsters, with this film Scorsese portrays a contemporary American society that’s enveloped by ‘a climate of terrifying moral bankruptcy and uncertainty.’—Peter Walsh.

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