Friday, October 27, 2006

The Departed

Not much more can be said about how great this movie is.

Which is why I held off on writing my review.

Honestly, what's left to be said?

Besides that, the truth is in my heart, I believe Mr. Scorsese is not capable of making a bad movie.

Even if he tried.


Even his stuff that people considered uneven.....I think is pretty freakin' brilliant.

I thought Gangs of New York and The Aviator were epic.

I liked Age of Innocence, Kundun, Color of Money....even Bringing out the Dead.

Well...... maybe not Bringing out the Dead.

But I recognize that movie is still better than 95% of the stuff that is out there today.

So, as one can see, in my eyes the guy can do no wrong.

I guess I'm not in the minority in my beliefs. Any dumb ass off the street will admit that the guy is a genius.

Which is why it's so strange that he's been unable to win the film industry's most prestigious award.

I think if there's any complaints about his most recent work, it's that they all seemed like they were geared toward trying to win him the Oscar.

Which of course isn't true.

But the way his films were marketed definitely made it seem that way.

So it's refreshing that The Departed at least looks like something more closer to his indie sensibility.

It feels like a movie with no obvious award season ambition.

It feels like Scorsese..... having some fun.

Like he did in Goodfellas, and Casino.

Indeed, the story is not even an original idea. It's based on a rather exceptional chinese film called Infernal Affairs.

I read in an article that one of the reasons Scorsese made the movie was to give back to the chinese film community, which has been so influenced by Scorsese's work.

The Departed is a superior film....but in all honestly not by much.

Andy Lau's movie is stylistic fun, and Andy Lau and Tony Leung's performances are pretty amazing.

Stunning work really.

Especially when watched with a fresh perspective.

Which is a big weakness for the remake.

The film is a faithful interpretation of Infernal Affairs.... almost to a fault.

Many of the plot points are ripped straight from the original.

To the point that I think that, if given a choice, viewers should not watch the original before watching this film.

It will spoil all the fun.

But even if one has seen the original, this movie is still a pretty fun and amazing ride.

Perhaps not surprising, I felt the differences in the two films were what I enjoyed most.

This time around I felt the stand out performances in the film were by the supporting actors.

In particular Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg, who happen to be characters who aren't in the original.

The truth is that they steal this film from Leo and Damon.

Like bandits.

Mark Wahlberg in particular has never been better.

Also getting notable attention is Vera Farmiga, who's character is tweaked so that she's romantically involved with both Leo and Damon's character. It's a nice tweak in the story, and gives the movie even more depth and heart.

Let's not forget Jack...who's great in his role. It's a wild, almost, out of control performance but it's entertaining, enjoyable and pretty damn great.

Perhaps turning in the most intimidating performance of them all is Ray Winstone's Mr. French. Who's a cold blooded, loyal, calculated killer, and second in command to Nicholson's Frank Costello. It fantastic, understated, work that hopefully won't be forgotten come awards season.

So basically it's a great film.... good source material, great adaptation, good performances, great direction, it's a can't miss.....maybe it's the best movie of the year.

What more needs to be said?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

for sure... one of my faves... seen it 6 times and will watch it again. nice review.