I just saw Martin Scorsese's new film, The Departed, last night and I have to say - it was excellent! Scorsese is back in top form here, revisiting the mobster genre that he has been known for over the years. I would rank this one up with his classic film - and one of my personal favorites - Goodfellas. It's nice to see Marty swing back to his gritty, ultra-violent self!
First of all, the acting, directing, and just about everything else was state of the art. Jack Nicholson was perfect as Frank Costello, a mob boss who is in charge of the organized crime ring in Boston. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Billy Costigan, an undercover cop who sneaks his way into Costello's gang so he can be an informant for the police department. Meanwhile, Matt Damon plays Colin Sullivan, an informant for Costello's mob who works for the police department, and is on his way to be promoted in the Special Investigations Unit. Both men cross paths, and fall in love with the same woman - a psychologist played by Vera Farmiga from the little-known indie Running Scared. Each man starts to become consumed by their work, and when they are both in danger of being found out, only then do tensions rise, and things get a little out of hand. The performances from the leads are all Oscar-worthy. I never thought that I'd ever say that about Matt Damon. Well, let me back that up. He was quite good in Good Will Hunting and he was great in The Talented Mr. Ripley, and his performance here is no exception. Leonardo DiCaprio gives his best performance here since What's Eating Gilbert Grape. DiCaprio is becoming a fixture in Scorsese's recent films, almost as if he is the director's newfound muse amongst male actors, the last one being Robert DeNiro. This is Jack Nicholson's first film with Scorsese, which is hard to believe, but it is true. Jack is back to what he does best in this role, and, pardon the cliche, but it fits him like a glove. His performance is one of ferocious intensity, and everytime he's on the screen, you feel really uneasy...and that's not a bad thing! The direction is flawless. I've already said enough about Scorsese, but the man knows how to make a great film! I must also give credit to the editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, who worked on Goodfellas. Her editing makes the film seem fast paced and hyperactive, and for a film that is thirty minutes short of being three hours long, that's amazing!
However, if you are easily offended by profanity or graphic violence, then stay far away! They are both here, and in abundance.