Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

December 4, 2020

The Departed review

Filed under: Our FIlms,Their Films — Rajeev @ 4:47 pm

Nov 03, 2006

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon

Director: Martin Scorsese

The other big Hollywood release at the cinemas this week is the new Martin Scorsese movie The Departed, which is really a sensational picture.

As I’ve been telling you on this show for the past few weeks, the plot is entirely faithful to the original source material – the Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs.

An undercover cop played by Leonardo DiCaprio is sent to infiltrate the Boston mafia run by kingpin Jack Nicholson. But at the other end, Nicholson’s got his own guy, Matt Damon planted inside the Police department so that he’s always kept updated on all the investigations the police is making against him.

The drama really kicks in when both moles begin to fear that their cover is going to be blown.

I think it’s important right off the bat to admit that I’m more than just marginally disappointed that a director of Scorsese’s caliber and talent chose to do a remake. But having said that, I also think The Departed is the perfect example of how to do a remake in the first place.

Where Infernal Affairs was really a fantastic film whose main highlight was the sensational Hong Kong action, Scorsese’s Departed is a rich character drama.

Scorsese doesn’t let his arrogance get in the way by reconstructing the plot because let’s face it – the plot is superb. Instead, he concentrates on beefing up his characters and on giving them some real edge.

As a result, the leads in The Departed deliver some of their finest performances ever. Jack Nicholson is really the heart and soul of this film, leaving his imprint on virtually every scene that he’s in.

And Leonardo DiCaprio shows such intensity playing a young man who’s agonising over the disappearance of his real identity.

I’m going to say it again – I’m a little heartbroken that the man who gave us such gems as Goodfellas and Mean Streets spent maybe a year of his life working on a scene-by-scene remake.

But the great thing about The Departed is that you can see Scorsese’s stamp all over it – particularly in the shocking violent scenes that are all raw and in-your-face, never once sanitised.

So, that’s two thumbs up for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Here’s how to do a remake. Farhan Akhtar, are you listening?

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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