The Departed (2006)
Reviewed on 2007 February 28
It’s interesting to see Scorsese deal with the Boston Irish instead of the Crime Families in New York. This doesn’t have the epic feel of Goodfellas or Casino, but it’s a wonderful and twisting story and offers more surprises than the other two movies.
Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) is a sleazy, powerful mob boss, with tentacles in many things and an amoral and scary crew to protect him. None of them are people you’d want as neighbors, but the worst would be Mr. French (Ray Winstone), the antithesis of that guy from “Family Affair”. Mr. French will pound the snot out of you one moment and buy you a drink the next. Add a big lug like Fitzy (David O’Hara) and a cold person like Tim Delahunt (Mark Rolston) and you’ve got some muscle.
Like lots of thugs, Costello takes care of his own. In early scenes he takes a local kid, Colin Sullivan, under his wings. Soon Sullivan (Matt Damon) is an SIU officer, and a mole for Frank. (This happens within the first few minutes of the movie and is not a twist or revelation. I wouldn’t do that to you guys.) At the same time, Billie Costigan (Leonardo DeCaprio) is tapped by two detectives (Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen) to be their mole to nail Costello.
The twists in this movie are remarkable, and being a Scorsese goodie, we get good music as it all unfolds. Nicholson paints a complex thug, incredibly vulgar and yet fond of opera. Costello can be vicious one moment and paternal the next. And I thought Mark Wahlberg was perfect as Dignam, the man obsessed with bringing Costello down.
Three chocolate morsels, and a nip of Bailey’s.