Film Review 4: The Departed


‘The Departed’ is a film about Irish-American gangsters in South Boston and their complex relationship with the police.  There are arguably three protagonists in this film, and the first the audience are introduced to is Irish-American mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). When the audience is introduced to him, the lighting is low-key, and his face is not shown, suggesting to the audience that he is a shady character. Also a non-deigtic sound is used over the top of the scene to represent Costello’s thoughts. Through this almost first person perspective, the audience gets an insight into what sort of person Costello is and most viewers will deem him a bad character from here on in. This ‘bad’ persona is backed up as the film proceeds as Costello keeps on participating in illagal activies. The second protagonist the audience is introduced to is Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) as a child, and the audience sees Costello introduce this young and impressionable boy into the Special Investigations Unit mole he becomes later on. The thrid protagonist and possibly the audiences favourite and hero is William “Billy” Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio). He too is from an Irish family full of people with links to crime. However Billy wants to break this mould, and become a cop. When he tries to enter the Special Investigations Unit, he is not allowed in due to his colourful family background which grants him ‘untrustworthy’, which the audience already see the irony in considering Colin gets in. Although he does not become a cop, Billy works undercover for the Special Investigations Unit and becomes the ‘rat’ in Costello’s goons. He ends up being undercover for over a year, by which point he becomes scared and paranoid, due to his increasing suspision of a ‘rat’ in the Special Investigations Unit.


The Trailer



‘The Departed’ was made in 2006 and is an american crime thriller film, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by William Monahan. Martin Scorsese is know to portray themes such as Sicilian-American identity, Roman Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, machismo, modern crime, and gang conflict. Many of his films are also notable for their depiction of violence and liberal use of profanity. About each and everyone of these themes are noticeable in ‘The Departed’.

‘The Departed’ is a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film ‘Infernal Affairs’. in 2003, Brad Grey from Warner Bros and also Brad Pitt bought the rights to remake the film from Media Asia for $1.75 million.


My Opinion

I thought that this film was fantastic. I think the factor that stood out for me the most was the story line and the impeccable acting by all, especially Leonardo DiCaprio. As my grandparents were Irish, watching it really made me feel as if Leonardo’s character Billy was really of Irish descent, through his fantastic acting and also the story he had.



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