Martin Scorsese’s greatest hits: The Departed
Martin Scorsese, the director of The Departed, is a small, over-caffeinated fellow from
This time Scorsese takes on the Irish mafia in
In terms of story, the film moves quickly into the dangerous terrain of an undercover operator trying to maintain his position in the firm when the leader knows there is a rat in his midst. Playing against the charmer’s role he finessed in The Titanic, DiCaprio ties his face up in knots as he has to help his underworld cronies kill other gangsters, blow up cars, and burn down buildings, let alone evade Costello’s suspicions about his loyalty. Matt Damon has no problem playing the smarmy detective in his suit, forced at times to send out text messages on his cell phone in his coat pocket to Costello so that he can carry on a smuggling deal without getting caught in a sting operation. As the two rats circle ever closer to discovering each other’s identity, the violence increases with the Darwinian ferocity of
I could spend paragraphs attempting to unpack all of the subtleties of the movie and still not fully understand it, but it wouldn’t matter. The Departed is one of the best, most freewheeling of Scorsese's films, one that challenges the viewer to keep up even as it entertains throughout. At one point, the cop psychiatrist/girlfriend Vera Farmiga says to Billy that he’s a textbook case of “drug-seeking behavior.” Scorsese directs the film as if he is high on the gangster tradition, and his pleasure in every frame shows.