DVD Review: The Departed

Warner Home Entertainment

After delving into history (the Aviator, Gangs of New York)The Departed finds Martin Scorsese back in the crime genre that made him famous. Guess What? He clearly has not lost a step.

The Departed follows themes familiar to Scorese’s work, the rise and fall of those with power. This time around, the setting is “Southie”in Boston.

Jack Nicholson stars as Frank Costello, an Irish-American crime lord loosely based on real-life crime boss Whitey Bulger. Costello plants young Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) into the police academy. Once Sullivan has risen through the ranks, he acts as a mole, for Costello, in the organized crime unit of the police force.

At the same time, Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), fresh out of the academy, is recruited to infiltrate Costello’s crew. They arrange for him to be kicked off the force and sent to prison, at which time he hooks up with Costello.

The rest of the movie finds these two struggling to keep their identities secret under pressure from both sides. It is fascinating to watch how each of them handles the tremendous stress that is placed upon them.

Like many of Scorsese’s films before this, The Departed is a game of duplicity and betrayal. Much of the time is spent keeping us guessing who is playing who. The twists and turns are done well, never really feeling forced. In the hands of a lesser director, some of this would undoubtedly come across as being clichéd.

All in all, The Departed is an outstanding film that is attribute to the skills and passion of Martin Scorsese.

The extras are pretty good, considering how quickly they got this out. There is no commentary, which is a real shame when you look at all of the talent involved with this.

There is a documentary on Scorsese that is from Turner Classics. It features the iconic director giving us his thoughts on his careergives us a rather insightful look in to the filmography of the iconic director.This is a couple of years old and thus has nothing about The Departed.

There are two other featurettes (Stranger than fiction and Crossing Criminal Cultures) that give us a look into the film and the real life events and characters that inspired it.

Also included are 9 deleted scenes that have introductions by the director. These intros make these scenes all the more interesting, though one can see why they were cut.
Click here to order The Departed from Amazon.

Jeremy