To kick off the IMDB Top 250 guest reviews, we have the lovely Zoe from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger. Zoe writes fantastic movie & book reviews and top ten lists (and guest top ten lists, should you wish to join in on the fun). She’s super cool & friendly and Leonardo DiCaprio’s number one fan. She also reads LOTS of books & and is way smarter than me so you really need to check her site out if you haven’t already. 🙂
There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE.
Now over to Zoe & her thoughts on The Departed, IMDB Rank 50 out of 250…
I got really gung ho involved with Table 9 Mutant’s IMDB Top 250 list. I got excited and I basically took a whole bunch, filling my arms. But whatever, moving along, they are great movies that need to be honoured. I thought that The Departed is one of those films. I have an obsession with this movie. I love it. I really, really do, and I revisit it often. I know dear old Mutant is not the hugest Scorsese fan, but I love the man and was going to explore this, no two ways about it. Oki, I’m going to stop rambling now, and get down to it.
“We have a question: Do you want to be a cop, or do you want to appear to be a cop? It’s an honest question.”
– Oliver Queenan
Plot Synopsis: An undercover state cop who has infiltrated an Irish gang and a mole in the police force working for the same mob race to track down and identify each other before being exposed to the enemy, after both sides realize their outfit has a rat. (IMDB)
Now, for me I really enjoyed the story, it was sharp and tight and very well written, and had a stellar cast to carry the story as well as a phenomenal director to helm it. Leonardo DiCaprio (yep, here I go again) is just amazing. He nailed the role of Billy Costigan, truly amazing work from him yet again, I expected no less. Coming up from nowhere, working his backside off to get into the police force and being shot down was a painful thing, but when Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) offer him the chance to go undercover for them, to take down a big Irish crime lord, he takes it, not thinking twice. What I loved is how he went in, incredibly optimistic, a chance to prove himself, be more than was expected. Instead he ended up running scared, trying so hard to outsmart everyone and keep his real life separate from the undercover life that was designed for him, and struggling to distance himself as well as accept all the cruel and nasty things that he saw.
“I’m gonna need the identity of your undercovers.” – Colin Sullivan
Jack Nicholson delivered quite the performance here. As Frank Costello, the Irish mob boss whose gang Costigan has wormed his way into, you can see exactly why he is being hunted. He is sharp as a tack, he is ruthless and psychopathic, calm and cool all the time, not much ruffling him. Never mind the mole snooping around his little unit, he as one up on the police: he has his very own mole really high up in their department. Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) has been working with Costello since he was a child, and is treated like the son. The two have a very solid relationship with each other, and work really well together. They rely on each other and they understand each other. Costello has his organisation so tightly wrapped up that even Sullivan is a very well hidden secret from within. Things are going fine up until the point that Costigan gets in. It dawns on the police as well as Costello at roughly the same time that someone is leaking information from the inside. This was really great for me, seeing how things started to heat up. The movie never dragged, and even though it took a while for both sides to make the realisation, it was a fantastic one to arrive at.
The camera work was amazing, and keeps bringing new things to the table, keeping it all fresh. The cast works so well together. On one hand you are rooting for the good guys, and the other you want to see the bad ones succeed. Again, this is an example of fine filmmaking for me, though ultimately your loyalty lay with Costigan and his shattered life due to his cover story, his one “big” opportunity that he was granted. Dignam proved to be an exceptionally angry character, though it was grand watching Wahlberg and DiCaprio together, and Sheen regulating them all the time. The score was great; it worked so well with this film, and the whole Irish theme. Vera Farmiga had her psychiatrist role as Madolyn, seeing police who have fired their weapons in line of duty. A meeting with Sullivan in the elevator and all his cocky confidence start their relationship, and all seems to be going well. Naturally, as all paths are crossing in this movie, she meets Costigan, and the two enter into an unknown thing together, which soon break the practitioner/patient boundaries and escalates into an affair. Costigan is hanging onto her like some kind of lifeline, and it is crazy to watch how her perfect relationship with Sullivan crumples when he starts to hide things about her, stripping her of her character, basically. He is a control freak, and everything has to be just so.
“I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.” – Frank Costello
The movie pacing is great. It is a long film but never (for me) actually feels that way, which is just awesome. It starts off, sets the tone, introduces the characters, and works with them all a little bit so that we have some background understanding, making all the events that unfold into something more than just a quick smack dab crime flick. As the movie progresses, you witness the cracks that start to show in the characters, the perfectly uneventful lives suddenly have issues that they have never dealt with before. Everything slowly starts unravelling, and soon gains momentum, spinning out of control but never losing the audience or sight of what is going down. Costello’s cockiness is slowly but surely falling away, and he is devolving into something more brutal and his anger is barely kept in check. Nicholson, of course, played that down to a tee. From the relaxed but scary Irish gang leader before, he refuses to relinquish his power, and everyone that stands before him will pay. Sullivan is doing what he can to protect himself as well as Costello, and is desperate to wheedle out the rat that has upset the perfect balance.
“I can’t wait to wipe that fucking smirk right off of your face.” – Dignam
All in all The Departed earns a 9/10 for me. A simply stunning piece of cinema, it was astounding to watch and never ceases to provide the height of entertainment that I am looking for, supported by a outstanding cast, great score and story, and stellar directing, this was destined to be a goodie. It is deserving of all praise, and you are sure that whenever DiCaprio and Scorsese come together, something beautiful will come from it!
Great review Zoe for an amazing movie. This is one of my favorite Scorsese movies (not his biggest fan)
Thanks Rob! I really love this movie, gets me every time!
Reblogged this on The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger and commented:
Ha! Check out my entry of Martin Scorsese’s The Departed for Cinema Parrot Disco’s IMDB Top 250 challenge!
Ah lady, thank you ever so kindly for those beautiful words!
DiCaprio! 😀 😀 😀 What a joy!
And PS: Only 50 for The Departed?! WTF IMDB?!
Thank YOU for the wonderful review! So glad you joined in. And got a review over so quickly! Wow! That’s amazing how quickly I’ve received reviews for this. Looking forward to posting them all. : )
(If it makes you feel better, it’s actually 45 as of today. I’m working off the 01/01/13 list as it changes so often) ; )
🙂 See, everyone got to pick something they loved (and I managed to bag 2 DiCaprio flicks, lucky me :D)
I had so much fun with this, getting to discuss one of my all time favourite films here like this was just a blast!
It DOES make me feel better actually 😛
Totally agree with you Zoe, it’s a brilliant film, no question!
Thanks Chris, it really is just a beautiful piece of cinema!
Great review, Zoe.
I think the flick lite on theme, but I agree with everything you said. It is very well made.
Thanks Josh! This movie really is brilliant, and I have a total ball with it every time I watch it!
Excellent film… but have you seen the film it was based on, Infernal Affairs… just as awesome!
Saw it when I was much younger, I should look into it again!
The sequels aren’t up to much but the original is blistering.
Then I am back on it!
Really cool review Zoe. I found myself nodding cockatoo style at pretty much all your points.
😀 Then we must be on the same page! Thanks a lot!
GREAT STUFF!!! What a way to kick off your big project, Mutant!! A wonderful take on a wonderful movie!!
Thanks Eric, knew you would enjoy this one!
You called that right!
Also – love your new theme and the rotating headers!!
It is awesome!
Thanks Eric! And thanks once again, Zoe! Guess I never really said anything about The Departed… I really enjoyed it & still want to watch the original. Definitely one of my favorite Scorsese’s. He should ALWAYS use Leo. But it’s SO much better than Shutter Island… ; )
Oh yeah – my theme! I forget that I’ve changed it as I only ever see “mobile view” (or do you call it “cell view”??) on my phone. ; ) Kind of like having the option to view it two very different ways if I want. Not sure if I really like it, though.
Shutter Island sucked butt. Sorry, Zoe : ( I tried – twice!
I can live with a 9, although it should be a 10! ;). This film is fucking phenomenal, no doubt about it. The performances, all around, just stellar…especially Nicholson. Outstanding work, all around. Really looking forward to the rest of this segment!
I can agree with you there Joseph! This movie makes me happy, but honesty and fairness makes me fluctuate to a 9 😦 Thanks a lot, glad you liked this!
If you give too many 10s, people will start not taking them seriously… ; ) A movie has to be pretty damn perfect to earn a 10 from me! I’d probably only give a 10 to maybe seven or eight films I’ve already seen. : )
I can totally understand that… I think I have only ever given one ten on my blog…
Me too. The Shawshank Redemption. : ) What was yours?
The Dark Knight 😀
Ahhh. I should have guessed that one. ; )
Haha I’m bad I know!
A lot of fun to be had here, with plenty of Catholic guilt thrown in. Nicholson’s a bit too cartoonish but you can’t have everything. Nice read.
Thanks Mark, it was plenty of fun and plain awesome! I liked Nicholson!
Nice work, Zoe!! Someday, perhaps, I will give this a try…
There’s always Resolutions 2015 🙂
There we go! 😉
It’s worth a watch! One of the better Scorsese films. : )
YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THIS?! Unacceptable, I tell you! Get on it now!!!
Eeeep! *Hides in the corner*
Lol. You’re in trouble now, Cara! Zoe is gonna getcha! ; )
She’s a very intense dicaprobobist.
Lol! I must consult the chart… ; )
🙂 Why not try under the bed, is fully furnished?
Are you and Eric BOTH living under there now?! I thought you were eating pizza on another continent!!
What what no! He’s out here, thought you could make use of his space while away and you’re into the whole corner thing! 😛
Ooooh good plan! He left behind his favorite blankie, though, so I’d better ship it to you. 😉
Yeah shame, he won’t be comfortable until it arrives! 😛
Very fine work Zoe. Agreed on practically everything here.
Thank you so much Mark! I know that you, too, enjoyed this one, it was brilliant.
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Awesome review Zoe!!! I love LOVE this movie too. Plus it has my two favorite men DiCaprio and Damon. 🙂 🙂 But regardless of that this movie is so friggin good!!! Just like Wolf of Wall Street the length didn’t bother me either, it was worth it and really only someone like Scorsese can pull that off.
Thanks lady! I am SO glad there is such love for this film, it is awesome! Yes, you and that Damon. Though one cannot dispute the mastery that is DiCaprio. EVER. Scorsese can rock a long movie effortlessly, totally in agreement there.
I love DiCaprio though too hells yes I’m a fan.
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