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The Departed

Posted by Player under Drama

The DepartedMartin Scorsese returns to his roots in The Departed, delivering the perfect crime drama. Undeniably the thing I love about Scorsese films is that his characters are real and the story always takes center stage. Most films today suffer from ridiculous story lines and mediocre acting, but The Departed has none of those problems.

The story centers around Boston crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), who helps Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a neighborhood kid, to become a state police detective. On the other side is Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), who undoubtedly does not have the best of luck, when he is asked to infiltrate Costello’s gang. The parallels between Sullivan and Costigan are apparent, even though Sullivan came from nothing he ends up being a liar, while Costigan is the moral person, he has had to battle his demons every step of the way. Costella plays father figure to both of them.

If you were to pick a main theme for The Departed it would be deception. Throughout the film, the question of deception comes up repeatedly. Is it okay to lie? Is deception part of love? Is it material things that make the man? According to Nicholson’s best line in the film, nothing really matters when someone points a gun at you.

While Scorsese never seems to be interested in the female perspective, he does feature strong female characters in his films. Vera Farmiga’s role as Madolyn, the successful but unhappy psychiatrist, who gets involved with both Sullivan and Costigan is the only female main character in the film. Farmiga’s best scenes are with DiCaprio, whose brutal honesty persuades the calm psychiatrist to reveal her own emotional dilemmas.

In the end, The Departed is a violent look into a world of men who play cops and criminal roles, but who share the same emotional crisis. How they die is not as important as how they deal within their own deceptions.

4.5 out 5 stars


Something New

Posted by Player under Romance

Something NewPerhaps I am getting older, but it seems that other than horror, the other genre of movies that I seem to be watching lately are romantic couple movies. In Something New, Sanaa Lathan plays Kenya, an uptight successful business woman, whose emotional closet is in need of some redecorating, in other words, a beautiful African-American woman is unhappy with her romantic life. When her coworker hooks her up on a blind date with Brian, played by Simon Baker, Kenya immediately rejects him, but eventually ends up hiring him as her landscaper. While much can be said about the idea of successful Black women being unable to find successful Black men, the plot line is as classic as Lady Chatterly’s Lover. In fact you might even call this film an updated version of D.H. Lawrence’s novel.

Although race is a central part of the film, it is not a subject which the director explores in depth, instead the film is really about a woman finding out what she needs out of life. Overall, I enjoyed the way the director used lighting and color to present the changes in Kenya. On the downside, Something New is not particularly funny, much like Kenya herself, it ends up being quite beautiful, but not very comfortable.

3.5 out 5 stars