Friday, March 09, 2007

The Departed

I have just come home from seeing this film and it is absolutely superb. I have rather let the Oscars pass me by, so I only discovered this evening that it is the Best Picture winner, and I don't know what else was nominated and almost certainly haven't seen any of them, but a piece of me is still determined that this justly won. I suppose I could spout a lot of my usual pseudy rot about how it was so ingenious and thoughtful and well crafted. But in truth what struck me about The Departed is precisely that it wasn't that "hmm, how though provoking" sort of film: it was in the vein and tradition of the simplest, most formulaic good cop/bad cop/ganster plot-driven efforts of which we've all seen hundreds. It was just immeasurably better. It is a little violent, I'm afraid (though I've seen worse: Scarface, anyone?), but it is also tremendously moving. I actually wanted to cry towards the end, but the friend next to me is the kind who would mock me if I did, so I didn't.

Highlights, surprisingly, included Leonardo diCaprio, the appeal of whom as either thespian or pin-up has always resolutely passed me by, but whose character was so involving that for 150 minutes I became one big ball of heart-wrenched attraction and sympathy and hope. No adult woman should admit this, but there was a point when someone ran her fingers through his hair and I wished it were me. (It reminds me of when I went to see Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet at 16 and found myself hoping it would work out for the pair of them at the end. Durrr...). The Departed also has some excellent tragi-comic and meta-cinematic moments. There's some pseudery for you to counterbalance the hormonefest. What did others think?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

loved The Departed, great dialogue and above all great acting by DiCaprio especially. Saw This Boy's Life (I think his first film) recently on DVD and I was blown away - what an amazing talent! There's this one scene where he imitates Bob DeNiro's character that is so great. Anyway, kudos to everyone in The Departed and congrats to Scorsese on his Oscar.

4:38 am  
Anonymous Tom said...

Quite agree - saw it on a tiny screen on a flight and thought it was wonderful. It did everything you want from that kind of film, and a little bit more.

You can see why I'm not a film critic.

9:14 am  
Blogger Scarlet said...

Yes! Now that you mention it, I saw This Boy's Life years ago and it really was outstanding. Since it was also gutwrenching, I may wait a while before watching it again: I have become less robust in my old age.
So my former attitude to L DiC was unfair, clearly: but on the evidence of Titanic, surely I can be forgiven?

11:50 am  
Blogger Cie said...

Liked it a lot too, though it was a while ago I saw it now. The voice-work was excellent, which is rare anyway, and Boston accents are notoriously tricky to do consistently. (I know that's a very Cie-ish point, but it often spoils my experience of a play or film completely if the dialect coaching has been poor or absent.)

5:42 pm  

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