Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Departed

I saw “The Departed” last night.

I’m writing this review under the assumption that this is my impressions based on my first viewing. I plan on seeing it again tonight, just so I know that I’m not missing something.

I want to give this movie a ten, but I’m reserving a 9 for it until such time as I see it again and confirm my suspicions of it’s greatness.

Now, as a disclaimer, I love Martin Scorsese pictures. I think Aviator should have beaten the pants off of Million Dollar Baby in the awards races. I think Gangs of New York was just as excellent. Both films are easily tens for me. I approached The Departed with a sense of eager trepidation. This is Scorsese’s first dip into gangster territory in a while, what if he’d lost something? Boy, was I wrong. I hate this sense that filmmakers only get worse with age, that they lose something. Scorsese gets a lot of flack in that department (although not as much as George Lucas) but I think in both cases the theory is completely unfounded.

Guys from that generation are like wine that gets better and better with age. (I can’t wait to see Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth”)

So, with this cautious excitement I sat down and proceeded to love every minute of this film. I recall nothing about this film that rubbed me the wrong way or put me off. As gangster pictures goes, it ranks up there with Goodfellas and Casino. It’s certainly of the same pedigree and the acting in the picture is no less stunning that in Scorsese’s previous efforts.

The cast of the film is so good separately, I had worries that they wouldn’t all match the film. I was concerned that a cast of that many all-stars (Nicholson, DiCaprio, Damon, Wahlberg, Sheen, Baldwin) would weigh the film down but they were all amazing.

As far as I’m concerned, this is Baldwin’s best performance since Glenngarry Glenn Ross.

I just can’t describe how good the movie was.

It was tense, suspenseful and thrilling. It was violent, bloody and shocking. It was deep, emotional and heart-rending. It was everything a story about real people needed to be.

And did I mention that the violence in this film perpetrated by Leonardo DiCaprio is on par with Joe Pesci in other Scorsese pictures?

Jesus H. Christ.

I found myself laughing giddily at every cool moment and outburst of violence and tensed up with the suspense of not know what was coming next.

I mean, there’s nothing I can say about a film like this that won’t sound pretentious. But Scorsese’s absolute use of cinema is nothing short of mind-blowing. Few directors in this day and age are able to use cinema for artistic storytelling as well as Scorsese and few even care.

What I’m saying is this: Go see this movie. If you don’t, there’s probably something wrong with you.

At this point I’ve liked the film so much that this review was a rambling piece of incoherent shit.
I will write another, more in depth review of the film as soon as I’ve seen it another couple of times.

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