First off, this is an American stylized remake of the Hong Kong hit, Infernal Affairs. I have to give credit to that, a good film. I have seen both Infernal Affairs and The Departed. I personally prefer The Departed, and I think because of one thing: Martin Scorsese. This is the master behind such greats as Taxi Diver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and he's at it again. The film has an all star cast with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Alec Baldwin.
The Direction was amazing. (maybe one of the reasons why he won the Oscar for it) I loved how some of the scenes were shot and set up. Especially regarding the Chinatown, and police interrogation scenes, among many others. The film is perfectly set up with intense, suspense scenes while adding in amounts humor at times. It works really well. The script is top notch. (Also Oscar winning) Realistic strong dialogue from scene to scene.
Another thing I liked more in The Departed, as opposed to Infernal Affairs, was the acting. DiCaprio really seemed to earn a lot of respect from this role. Here, he takes on the tough guy persona so well. Sure it was known he was a good actor from his Oscar nominated performances in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and The Aviator, but he really takes it to another level here. I can't see anyone else as the character, he fits so perfectly with it. Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg, being Massachusetts natives, also give solid performances, with their natural accents. Nicholson works well in his role, as well. Everyone was extremely solid and everything seemed so real.
Set in Boston, The Departed takes in all the Boston like atmosphere. Beautifully shot scenes of the Massachusetts Golden Dome State Capital building is just one part of the landscape. The Dropkick Murphys song "I'm Shipping up to Boston" really fits, great use of songs. Scorsese usually works music into his films really well.
"Cops or Criminals. When you're facing a loaded gun what's the difference?" This quote really represents the film." Matt Damon plays a state officer in the Police, working for the crime boss of the area, Frank Costello (Nicholson). While Damon's character can be described as a "bad guy," he is really misunderstood. As a kid, he is sort of mentored into crime business by Costello while Costello becomes the father figure Damon's character never had. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young guy, coming from a bad, crime ridden family. He's decides to become a police officer to get away from the crime life he's been surrounded by. Taking all this into account, Captain Queenen (Sheen) and Seargent Dignam (Wahlberg) decide to send DiCaprio's character undercover to find out more about the criminal underworld and Costello. With his family's crime record, he fit's perfectly into the situation. Now you have a highly ranked officer working for bad guy, and an undercover cop in the criminal underworld working for the State Police. From here it's an all out suspenseful thrill ride. Who's who? Who's working for who? Who can you trust? Paranoia threatens everyone. Lies. Betrayal. Sacrifice. How far will you take it?
At the heart of this film is character development. We really feel for the characters. We feel like we know them. It's really amazing part of this story and film. Tremendous story telling here.
This is one of the most entertaining and suspenseful crime/drama's I have seen in a while. While Infernal Affairs, came first, I think The Departed expands on it in so many ways. Really solid crime/drama. Check both out when you get a chance. It's really worth it. 9/10