Sunday, April 1, 2007

What I'm Watching: The Departed

Last night I finally had a chance to watch The Departed, on DVD. I definitely didn't fall asleep during this one. In fact, it was so intense, that I had a tough time falling asleep afterwards and dreamt uneasy dreams all night. I was a big Scorcese fan, back when I was a youngster. Taxi Driver and Raging Bull were important films to me. And I think The King of Comedy is astounding (could Rupert Pupkin be one the most interesting roles De Niro every played?). I wasn't a big fan of Goodfellas, and I thought that Bringing out the Dead and Gangs of New York were low points.

The Departed definitely had my pulse racing the entire time. It's a tightly crafted piece, and the performances are strong across the board (though Jack Nicholson ends up hamming it up too much for my taste). And it was fun to watch a movie set in Boston and actually filmed in Boston (since I live here). I appreciate the storytelling, and I enjoyed the complexity of the narrative, though sometimes I just wanted to get to know the two main characters better. Especially DiCaprio's character (he gets that furrowed brow look and holds it forever in this one). If you look back at my favorite Scorcese films, they've got plot, but also some real deep character explorations. The kind of depth I've also wanted to pull off but am still attempting. Still, I think The Departed is one of his better pieces, and it wasn't undeserving of the awards it won.


katrog said...

I enjoyed The Departed, as well, especially Di Caprio and Wahlberg--and I liked the fact that most of them actually sounded like they were from Boston. What I thought was an egregious waste of time was the subplot involving the female psychiatrist. Vera Farmiga is a good actress, and interesting to watch, but none of it rang true. Her character was just a creaky plot device.


patrick said...

I thought Wahlberg was terrific, too. He had such a great comic timing (even as he was incredibly profane), as well as dramatic intensity. I agree that it was a shame we didn't get to see more of Farmiga--that whole entanglement had a lot of human and dramatic potential that was unrealized.