Features / Reviews

Anniversary Review: The Departed

10 years have passed since The Departed hit screens in America. It graced nearly every single top ten list that year and has been filling out spots since then. Is it still a top ten contender now? Short answer, yes.

In The Departed, the director manages to do something special; give Mark Wahlberg the opportunity to outshine Leonardo Dicaprio. That alone should be praise enough.

2002-2004 Leonardo Dicaprio is my favourite. He starred in Gangs of New York, Catch Me if You Can, The Aviator, The Departed and Blood Diamond in those years. To me, those collection of films allowed him to show every emotion, every nuance in his repertoire and show every scrap of talent he has.

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Jack Nicholson is magnetic in this film. His character oozes sleaze and corruption, everything from his wispy grey hair to the leopard print tie he wears. His character is so threatening, a scene where he removes the ring from a severed hand at the breakfast table just highlights this. Apparently Nicholson was hesitant about accepting the role but thankfully he did because I can’t see anyone else in his place. I believe even the great DiNiro would have tried and been great but he wouldn’t have been Nicholson great.

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Scorsese traits are all over this film including the magnificent uses of zooms and pans and Scorsese’s obsession with gangsters, corruption and Leonardo DiCaprio. He won best Director for The Departed. Many said he should’ve won for pretty much any of his previous work. Knowing the Oscars and how corrupt and bad they are, I was just glad he won at all.

The Departed is a clever film, not only its plot but it’s use of hidden Easter-eggs and foreshadowing. It’s one of my all time favourite gangster films (and I’ve watched a lot). It’s pure thrill and violence cinema that has the backing of a stellar cast and juicy dialogue.

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