“The Departed” was directed by Martin Scorsese, who is known for his acclaimed crime dramas & mobsters films such as “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, “Casino”, “Goodfellas” & “Gangs of New York”. The film is based on the 2002 Hong Kong film, “Internal Affairs”. The film is also based loosely on the Boston Winter Hill Gang, several of its character are based on actual gang members. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Vera Fermiga, Ray Winstone, Anthony Anderson & Jack Nicholson.
In Boston, Irish mob boss, Frank Costello (Nicholson) recruits a young boy named Colin Sullivan to join his crew. Sullivan grows up (Damon) to a police officer for Boston police department but because of his connection with Castello, he quickly makes up the ranks an now he’s a Massachusetts State Police Detective in the Special Investigation Unit. Meanwhile, Captain Charles Queenan (Sheen) and Staff Sargent Sean Dignam (Wahlberg) of the State police recruit Bill Costigan (DiCaprio) a member of one the crime families linked to Castello to serve as an undercover agent to bring down the mob. A very clever game of cat and mouse ensues as both Sullivan & Costigan have to use their wits & deception to accomplish their goals. A mole within both the state police & the Irish mob proves to be unsettling for both men as their mental states are put to the ultimate test.
Martin Scorsese once again knocks it out of the park with this film. This was a fantastic film from beginning to end and had by far one of the best casts ever assembled for a film. This is one of the very few films where the whole cast delivers outstanding performances. I think Matt Damon does give a good performance but it is overshadowed by both Leonardo DiCaprio & Jack Nicholson. The writing is amazing and Scorsese really captures the look & feel of the South Boston projects. This film has the feel of an intense crime drama but basically it is just more violent than others but that comes with Scorsese’s filmmaking.
After the film’s release, it went on to huge success by winning 4 Oscars that year. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay & Best Film Editing. Mark Wahlberg was the only actor from the cast receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role. The film also won the Golden Globe for Best Director while DiCaprio, Nicholson & Wahlberg were nominated. Scorsese & DiCaprio have done 4 films together including this one, 2004’s “The Aviator”, 2010’s “Shutter Island” & 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Jack Nicholson would go on to do 2 more films, 2007’s “The Bucket List” & 2010’s “How Do You Know” before taking a self imposed retirement from acting, allegedly due to memory loss.