Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – The Departed (2006)

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon & Jack Nicholson

Rating 8/10

32 years after the good old Godfather movies had taken Hollywood by storm, another mob movie made its mark and took out the top gong. The Departed was just as gory and disturbing as those merry old mafia movies but although it was good, it was nowhere near as impressive as those amazing Brando films of the 1970’s.

The Godfather movies were all about ‘the family’! People were born into this organisation where you really had no choice but join the bloody world of murder and power. In The Departed the focus is on the corrupt cops and the good policemen who just want all those mobsters six feet under, where they belong.

Staff Sergeant Colin Sullivan (Damon) is a cop with a new job in the Special Investigations Unit. Which is good for the mob because he’s corrupt, wrapped firmly around the finger of Irish mafia boss Frank Costello (Nicholson).

 Then you have little Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) whose family was pretty deep in organised crime but has rebelled against his crazy family by becoming a true-blue coppa. To test his loyalty, Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) ask him to drop out of the academy and go deep undercover in order to infiltrate the mob and bring them to justice.

So he says a hesitant yes and agrees to go to jail to increase his credibility with those corrupt mafia thugs. Once released, Costigan starts causing trouble in his neighbourhood to get Costello to notice him. He does and Costigan starts working for those bad boys, gaining the head mobster’s confidence.

Things start getting interesting when the lives of Costigan and Sullivan start to cross over. Both sides know there’s a mole but are having a tricky time tracking down exactly who they are. In the end, people are shot… in the head, blood spurts everywhere and the truth ultimately comes out.

This is not a satisfying film. It’s incredibly violent, as all mafia films seem to be and it is not for the faint hearted. So, if you don’t like blood, guts and overt sexual stuff, stay away from this one. Having said that, there is something about this film that hooks you in and keeps you guessing until the last scene!

All the big stars (and little) give solid, convincing performances, especially DiCaprio and Damon. The weakest link is perhaps Wahlber with his overly dramatic depiction of Dignam.

All in all it’s a good film but not outstanding in comparison to the other films that were nominated for Best Picture in 2006 Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen.

Anyhoo, check it out if you feel like a bloody good action flick but, for me, that’s all it was… nothing special!

The Departed Trivia:

  • Budget -$90 million
  • Apparently Mark Wahlberg based his character on the policemen who arrested him in his back in his bad youth days.
  • Initially, Nicholson turned down the role of Costello but was convinced to do it after a meeting with Director Martin Scorcese and Leonardo DiCaprio. And because he wanted to, once again, play a baddie.
  • Damon researched his character by going on drug raids and learning how to pat down suspects with a Massachusetts State Police unit from Boston.
  • Brad Pitt turned down the role of Sullivan as he was filming Babel, but stayed on as a Producer on this film.
  • The Departed is the only movie based on a foreign film (Hong Kong flick, Internal Affairs ) to win Best Picture.
  • Body count: 22

Phew! Another mob movie done and dusted! Love ’em but dread them at the same time. Next week is no walk in the park either. We’re watching the Cohen brothers hit, No Country for Old Men starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin! Watch it if you dare!!!

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One comment on “Best Picture – The Departed (2006)

  1. Ross Franks
    June 10, 2012

    do not watch no country for old men it is so gross i wish i never watched it,ross likes it though

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