Scorsese rocks. I liked the film. I didn’t notice how long it was until it was over. And it was long.
Vicious and brutal at the end. You could say gruesome. Nicholson was not the “cuddly” Jack as Roeper put it. More like an older, larger version of what we saw in The Shining with a bit of a Boston accent. The rest of the cast was great, too. Damon and DiCaprio worked well opposite each other even though they were (almost) never in the same scenes. And Mark Wahlberg had a small but memorable role as a polite, refined police sergeant. :)
The Departed brushes with Scorsese’s personal past, of course, as with the priests in the restaurant, though the film makes me think of a horribly warped Good Will Hunting without the clever dialogue. It could be subtitled, “Corruption and Payback,” or “Whom (not?) to Follow from a Sinking Ship. And When.” Or perhaps even, “How to Get Ahead and Advance Your Career in 578 Easy Steps.”
It was one of those films where you don’t see the end coming, although you know it won’t be typical Hollywood. And I appreciated that. There are some great moments of suspense and the film earns the characters’ actions. And I didn’t completely know whom to root for either. But even though the film was a bit of a downer, it left me with a warped sense of enjoyment as I left. Well done.
On the technical side of things, I didn’t notice too much cinematographically, which can be a good thing. I did notice a bit of overexposure in the Captain’s office with the windows in the background, and I liked it. The Dialogue/ADR mixing stood out a bit (as in: was not good and smooth), and that annoyed me, but not to the point of distraction. The music was unconventional but not too distracting. There were several cuts where picture and music ended simultaneously as if in error but what only must have been intentional. A few of the songs were grating and took me out of the show a bit, based more in Irish punk rock pop than cinematic pedigree, but I can certainly understand Scorsese’s choice and overall the music worked more than it didn’t. The editing had a few minor VFX tricks but for the most part I didn’t notice it either. If I really want to pick apart the technical aspects then I’ll get the DVD and watch it as a critic, not as the audience.