Title: The Departed
Runtime: 2h 31m
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon
Director: Martin Scorsese
An undercover cop and a mole in the police attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston.
I wanted to like it, but just couldn’t bring myself to do so
Where to start with The Departed? I’ve dissected and dismembered this movie with friends and relatives since its release in so much detail that I feel drained even before I begin this review. I have a funny relationship with this film. Despite pretty much enjoying all of Scorsese’s previous output and being a huge fan of crime movies, I can’t say The Departed really resonated with me. At first I hated it, then I warmed up to it, and then I went back to thinking it just wasn’t very good. After it had finished when I first saw it I just thought to myself well, is that it? There was no initial excitement when watching and no lasting impact after it was done. As sacrilegious as it is to say, is this Marty’s first boring movie?
From Producer Gaston Pavlovich:
You don’t use prosthetics, make-up; they have acting and the technology is able to have them go through different time ages without the prosthetics. So we’ve seen some tests and it looks extraordinary. We were able to film Bob and just do a scene. We saw it come down to when he was like 20, 40, 60, so we’re looking forward to that, from that point of view, for The Irishman … Imagine seeing what De Niro looked like in The Godfather: Part II days, that’s pretty much how you’re going to see him again.
I think most of us who have been following The Irishman are against digitally de-aging the actors for the flashback scenes. I’d much rather they went for casting different actors, a la Once Upon a Time in America. As well as the margin for error being smaller, it would also add a nice dynamic, seeing as though it is probably going to be noticeable when actors who are over 70 years old are going to be playing 30 year old versions of themselves, but when you cast different actors they bring their own little ticks to the role.
“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.” After the Goodfellas references last week, we get one better as the show quotes The Godfather. The reference is made by the girls’ football (that’s right Americans! Football, not soccer) coach who the mob, seeing as though many of their daughters play for the team, are not happy that he has decided to leave. The majority of the episode is taken up by Paulie, Salvadore and Chris’ attempts to bribe, bully and blackmail the coach into staying. Their attitude soon changes, however, when it is discovered that the coach has slept with one of the girls…multiple times.
Tony and the mob learn during Larry Boy Barese daughter’s wedding that the FBI are about to bring down indictments. As a result, Tony gets rid of all the guns, jewellery and cash he has around the home, namely in Livia’s retirement home room. Meanwhile Christopher is going through a bit of one – He’s experiencing trouble with his movie screenplay and is infuriated that he doesn’t get a mention in the papers when even dead thugs like Brendan do. Also, we share dinner with Jennifer Melfi and her family as she shares to them that she has a mobster as a patient. Finally, and probably most crucially, a livid Livia tells Uncle Junior that Tony is seeing a psychiatrist.
The lyrics “Your papa never told you about right or wrong” are of greater relevance in Down Neck, as Tony retreats into a good couple of interesting flashbacks whilst in Dr Melfi’s office. They go back to the times when he was about the same age as his son, and used to watch his dad chase down debt collectors and fall victim of an even more dramatic Livia.
Pax Soprana is a damn fine episode, and makes for an entertaining and intriguing 50 minutes or so. Its title is derived from Pax Romana, a political but peaceful move made by the Emperor Augustus that managed to hold the Roman Empire together for over a hundred years. Comparatively, Tony must plot and move in order to keep Junior, who’s not really fit to be the Boss, from disrupting the family.
The fourth episode of The Sopranos opens with a bizarre dream sequence from Tony, in which his subconscious focuses on Dr Melfi’s lovely legs (Oo-lalla is this going somewhere?), his crew suspect him of seeing a shrink, he fears he may end up like Jackie, he faces the possibility that he may be using Jennifer for some much-craved motherly attention, and confronts the fact that he is neglecting his son. After he wakes up, Tony plays some Mario Kart with Anthony Jr and, like in his life, covers his son’s eyes and cheats to win.