Hi-Five: The Departed

I know I’m like one of the last ten people on the planet to see it…but, I just got back from the theater seeing this one. The Departed is a remake of the Japanese film Infernal Affairs (19..) and had a banging ensemble cast that included Jack Nicholson, Leo DiCaprio, Marky Mark, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, and Anthony Anderson. OK, I know that Anthony Anderson doesn’t really make it an ensemble cast…but, I figure if I can recognize an actor then they count for something (even if they are an accused chester molester!).

For this edition of hi-five…I just have five comments about things in the film and questions on things I’m still somewhat foggy regarding:

  1. It was a crafty choice to cast Leo and Matt opposite each other as the protagonist and antagonist, respectively. I found it interesting that Costigan pretty much had the upbringing that Sullivan’s character pretends to have had. By all accounts, Costigan should have been the one with the cushy desk job and legitimate claim to the wide-legged psychiatrist. Instead, the film’s plot is enhanced by extending the character development to show what can happen to repressed personalities in circumstances completely unsuited for the person’s true character.
  2. With all of the precaution Dignam (Marky Mark) took to prevent any biological proof of his presence in Sullivan’s condo, why didn’t he wear a hairnet over that greasy mullet he was rocking?
  3. What were we supposed to think the letter/package that Costigan left with the psychiatrist (Vera Farmiga) contained? I waited until after the credits were over just in case we were gonna see indicting photos, photocopies of sealed records, etc.
  4. I keep hearing that people felt like the storyline was too predictable in the movie. I’m normally one of those people who feels like that about films, but didn’t on this one. Sure, by the time Brown (Anthony Anderson) showed up on the roof, you pretty much knew that during the scene he would be murdered. I also recall myself screaming out that The Other Rat was going to show up and kill Costigan. I mean, with a guy like Costello (Nicholson), you had to know that there were multiple rats (just like there were multiple undercovers. I say all of this to say that sometimes stories are predictable because they have to be for proper plot resolution. Martin Scorsese isn’t really the type of director who tries to shake the audience up by leaving loose to fray and unsettle audience members even after the film is done. Furthermore, I don’t really mind a predictable plot when it’s still well-done and entertaining.

  5. And last…but not least…whose baby is it? Costigan’s (Leo) or Sullivan’s (Damon)?

Ahh…I’m going over the 5 ’cause I remembered a couple other things I wondered about:


+1) Shouldn’t Dignam have suspected Sullivan earlier on, instead of just bitching and complaining about how much he didn’t like him? That he didn’t know it was him earlier on was a little unbelievable for me.

+2) The scene where Sullivan and Costigan have their first phone convo and neither says a word was on point. For like the next 20 minutes of the film, I wondered if Costigan was going to trust Sullivan enough to continue the mission…I was surprised that he did. I mean, he didn’t even try to hang around during the big swoop down to see if he could make out who the leak was. I don’t know if that was good writing or bad writing.


~ by Anayah on November 6, 2006.

2 Responses to “Hi-Five: The Departed”

  1. I never heard of this movie… Why hasn’t anyone told me about this movie?

  2. man…i can’t believe that you of all people hadn’t heard about this film. i can’t wait to hear/read your thoughts about it when you get a chance to see it!

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