This was my special Leap Year movie!
The Departed is one of my favorite films by Martin Scorsese. Without knowing that is is an Americanized version of the Hong Kong thriller, Infernal Affairs, The Departed feels very much like an original Scorsese movie.
I have not seen Infernal Affairs yet, but I am very interested in seeing the entire trilogy. While many international remakes may tend to lose the allure and vibrancy of their original, The Departed is so strong on its own that I simply cannot imagine the original being any better.
The story is a bit confusing at first; A young boy is recruited by a mobster (the illustrious Jack Nicholson). That boy becomes a cop (Matt Damon). We see another man becoming a cop (Leonardo DiCaprio). Matt Damon is working for Nicholson as his inside man in the force. DiCaprio becomes an undercover cop in Nicholson’s crew as the inside man for the cops. Both Damon and DiCaprio are trying to find out who each other is.
It is intensely thrilling from start to finish and while things do start making sense eventually, but multiple viewings surely help. This was my third or fourth viewing since its release and I still was putting certain pieces together. When my father watched this movie several years ago he mentioned that he thought that Damon and DiCaprio were the same person, which must have made the whole movie an incomprehensible mess for him, assuming he never figured out that they were two different people.
The plot weaves in and out and it does take a bit of patience and a lot of attention. The pacing is terrific and once the film grabs you by the throat it doesn’t let go until the credits roll. For those of you wondering, Goodfellas is my favorite movie of all time and I love Scorsese’s work. The Departed ranks as one of his stronger films and I would definitely recommend it to anyone willing to possibly get confused even if you are fully vested in watching.
I give it 5 leopard print robes out of 5.