The Departed: A Scorsese classic

Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest American film directors of all time. It’s really that simple.

There have been others who have made great films and are in the same league as Scorsese but few are better. He continues to impress audiences with his new film The Departed.

Set in the streets, bars and warehouses of Boston, Scorsese paints a dark and grisly image of the city that is not often seen. It is on these mean streets where the Irish mafia has a strong hold on nearly everything including the police.

The Departed, a remake of the 2002 Chinese film Infernal Affairs, is centered on two young men who are both trying to get ahead in the world.

Enter Billy Costigan (Leonardo Dicaprio), a recent graduate from the police academy and new member of the Boston Police Department. Costigan comes from an infamous family with known involvement in the mob.

Therefore, substantial suspicion arises when he becomes an officer of the law. Acting on these suspicions, Costigan is tagged by his superiors to help bring down the most notorious of gangsters, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). He must do this by shedding his identity as a cop and weaving into the dark world of organized crime.

As Costigan prepares to infiltrate the mob, Costello has a plan of his own that includes Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). Sullivan has grown up around Costello, and one gets the feeling that he has been preparing his entire life for what he must do. Sullivan is also a new police officer, but his allegiance lies with Costello and the mafia rather than with the law.

Reverting back to his Goodfellas and Taxi Driver days, Scorsese creates a film that is both engaging and exciting but at the same time very thought provoking and deep. Like many of his other films, it is unapologetically violent and at times very brutal, but this seems necessary given the subject matter.

Many are calling this Scorsese’s best film since Goodfellas, but is that really true? Is Scorsese good at creating only vicious crime and mafia films? Just remember that he also was at the helm of Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ. Rather this is simply his best film since his last one, The Aviator.

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