Last night we took in Martin Scorcese’s latest movie, The Departed (based on the Hong Kong original, Internal Affairs) with Tom, Rob and Chad in attendance. It certainly wasn’t the best Scorcese I’ve seen – and probably not the best Nicholson, DiCaprio, or Wahlberg (although likely my favourite Damon and Winstone roles yet) – but it was definetely one of the better movies I’ve seen this year, and the best crime story I’ve seen in several.
The camera work was perfectly simple, as the last thing this film needed was visual distraction of any kind, being as strongly character driven as it was.
I had no complaints about the length; the dual-mole intro sequence was longer than a traditional intro by some 20 minutes, but in the end it was completely necessary – and before you had time to be upset by it, the first act starts in 3rd gear and never really lets up.
That said, the ending was one of my only two complaints* – it was almost comical in a slap-sticky way that I didn’t feel did the 2nd and 3rd acts justice.
*the other being the ridiculously far fetched love triangle aspect: I can see that her character was being used as a two way mirror for the dual-moles, but with a little more attention to the dialog, it could have been done purely through her interviews with them; but I’ll admit an approach like that might have been too subtle in this movie’s context and missed by half the audience.
The performances were pretty solid all around, including Sheen and Baldwin who aren’t exactly at the top of any of my lists. There was one scene in particular between DiCaprio and Damon, where they first confront each other – silently over the telephone; they both know the other is their target mole, but they don’t know who the other is, so they both listen silently, breathing, trying desperately to glean something about their adversary through the static.
All in all, this is a movie I will no doubt own and watch many times, but it wasn’t quite enough to get a “must see” rating.