Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo di Caprio, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga

"Lies. Betrayal. Sacrifice. How far will you take it?"

Cinema 6, SM Megamall


I took a break from the still ongoing Spanish film festival to get sucked into an action filled, suspenseful Hollywood film.

Here are my thoughts on "The Departed"  in bullet form:

  • I know it is Hollywood's version of a HongKong flick called "Infernal Affairs".  A film I haven't seen yet nor do I intend to see it since I'm not really into that sort of movies. 
  • The first part of the movie is as usual the introduction of the different characters, their background and where you sort of establish some rapport with their fate.  Whether you get engaged into their life story and whom you would be silently rooting for.  Martin Scorsese has developed really good visuals for us to immediately pick out our favorites.
  • The middle part it seems things slow down a bit to the point where you wonder if things will pick up and start to get really nasty.   The wheelings and dealings are already familiar territory so you try not to doze off.  Yeah I know how can I doze off during a Scorsese movie?  Blasphemous!  Heh
  • Now the last part maybe for about 30 minutes is when the shit hits the fan.   I mean wow bodies start piling up, you stay glued to the screen, awaiting the intense gripping moments of who gets killed next.   Fact paced, gritty action.  Now that's more like it!
  • The bevy of talented actors is what sustained the movie, imho.  If the roles fell into the hands of mediocre actors, I'm afraid the movie would have fallen flat on the ground and be stomped like a bug.   Even the supporting roles of Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg were intensely captivating.
  • The dialogue was top notch.  I don't know why foul language uttered in movies simply crack me up all the time.  Something really realistic about it, I guess.  Let's face it, people really do use the *F* word a lot in normal conversations so for them to utter it like it was a common derivative is refreshing to watch. Well I meant those type of people -  the ones in the law enforcement agencies as well as the gangster types.  I especially like the ra ta tat foul mouthed spiel that Mark Wahlberg essayed with gusto everytime he was in a scene. 
  • One question though is why did Scorsese cast an actress who simply couldn't act if her life depended on it?   Vera what's her name was very rigid and ineffectual that I kept thinking she didn't really have to be in the movie at all.  
  • Inevitably Matt Damon and Leo di Caprio would be pitted against each other and compared and analysed incessantly.  But I think that they are both in different leagues.  Matt Damon has established himself as the ordinary guy who if worse comes to shove does heroic things and delivers most of the time.  His roles in the Bourne Identity series testifies to this endeavour effortlessly.  While Leo has the leading man good looks, the romantic lead that rescues damsels in distress pitch working for him everytime.  I am also quite relieved that he has grown up to be a mature actor, beyond his baby face good looks. The way he knots his eyebrows to show some intense emotions is very good and it simply pierces through the screen like a sharp edged razor.
  • Jack Nicholson is the very heart and soul of this movie.  His Frank Costello is right up there along with Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito in "Goodfellas" and Daniel Day Lewis' Bill Cutting in "Gangs of New York".  Forceful, in your face characters that will be revered in cinematic history.

Finally, I think the movie is a good vehicle to showcase Scorsese's comeback after a long absence. The plot is solidly coherent, the dialogue is realistic and the ensemble cast is quite convincing in their respective roles.    A good suspenseful, action packed film that is worth your hard earned bucks. 

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