The Collection #3 – The Departed

The Departed - Collection

  • The Departed (2006) – Directed by Martin Scorsese.

Our next movie in The Collection might be the best remake of all-time – the excellent crime-drama The Departed directed by Martin Scorsese. Originally, another Scorsese film was going to be this month’s member of The Collection, but in a last minute change-up the ensemble-led drama became the next must-watch film suggested by me. 

The Departed was based on the Hong Kong crime-drama Infernal Affairs, but I’m not going to be talking about that film. I’ve heard that the people that swear by Infernal Affairs dislike The Departed, which I think is sad as they then don’t appreciate the greatness of Scorsese’s version. But that’s all I’ll say about Infernal Affairs. I will say, however, that if it weren’t a ‘remake’, then I think it would get the respect it deserves.

The Departed follows two men who both grew up right at the center of crime in Boston. Colin Sullivan (played by Matt Damon) has, as an adult, been turned into a mole within the Special Investigation Unit, while Billy Costigan (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), who has family ties to the mob, goes undercover for the police to infiltrate the Irish Mob in Boston. Their respective lives begin to mirror each other, and the thrilling crime-drama begins.

I always have a lot of fun with the film, even more fun than I have with The Wolf of Wall Street actually. It is my kind of film. Great ensemble film with a ton of great performances, hilarious dialogue, thrilling story, and Scorsese behind the camera. It doesn’t get any better than that outside of the Star Wars-universe as far as I’m concerned. But then again, I’m a huge fan of Scorsese.

I, personally, think that Taxi Driver is Scorsese’s best film, and it is one of my favorites too. But I do believe that The Departed is one of his best films ever. I remember when The Departed gave Scorsese his first Academy Award, and people were saying they just gave it to him because he had deserved one earlier in his career. Sure, he has deserved multiple Oscars over the course of his career, but The Departed is a great film – and easily the best film of the year.

This isn’t really a review per se, but let’s talk about some of the performances. Jack Nicholson has gotten some criticism for his portrayal and his character. Sure, he is a bit cartoony, but I think that was entirely what they were going for – he is a bit of a stock character, and I think Nicholson really played the character as well as he could had. I think Alec Baldwin and Matt Damon were really solid in this film, but I don’t think they are quite as good as Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg.

Wahlberg, thankfully, was nominated for an Oscar for his performance, and he really deserved that – even if he isn’t featured in the film a lot. Wahlberg just owns every scene he is in. I really feel like this should’ve been Leonardo DiCaprio’s first Academy Award win. He was so freaking good in this film, and he wasn’t even nominated! That fact really bugs me. Somehow the Academy nominated him for Blood Diamond instead.

I really want people to watch this film, and there’s a good chance you might have. This is the first film from the 21st Century in The Collection. But if, for some unknown reason, you missed one of the best films of the 2000s, then, for the love of God, check it out immediately.

What do you think of The Departed? Sound off in the comments.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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