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Monday, November 06, 2006

Thy dearly Departed

Watching The Departed just blew me away. It's certainly one of the best movies so far this year. It may not be original, being a re-make (or what they like to call Scorsese's take) of Hong Kong blockbuster Internal Affairs. What the hell, I still loved it.
It's sad how much we're so engrossed in all things Hollywood, that sometimes some of the best stories on screen aren't from Tinseltown. Had I known such a smart plot and storyline existed, I would've waited in line with Jinjang Joe when it played a couple of years ago. But who am I kidding here? Andy Lau isn't exactly DiCaprio, is he?
Remakes and retakes aside, this film marks the return to familiar turf for Martin Scorsese to his specialty, which is gangsters and mobs. Even without De Niro, Scorsese's found a new starlet in Leonardo DiCaprio, now much more well-built and less boy-band looking than his Titanic days. This is the 3rd time they've worked together on a project and looks like DiCaprio is Scorsese's new 'number one'.
Watching The Departed is a return to earlier Scorsese classics that makes him a favourite of mine. It's probably his best since Goodfellas, which proves he excels in getting people whacked. And even though Gangs of New York touched on the same grounds of gangsterhood, it looked more like an old western rather than a mob story. The Aviator a couple of years back wasn't bad either but it's no Goodfellas, is it?
Which brings me back to the movie. With a cast of A-list Hollywood men, you would've been forgiven for drooling in your seats whilst marvelling at their work. And of course, there's 'ol Jack Nicholson. Some people in this world are just born with it. Jack is one of those people. He ignites the scene everytime he's in it and he just oozes himself in this role.
Leo and Matt Damon are no slouchers either and with such a fine supporting cast, makes the movie more enjoyable. The cat and mouse game of the mole trying to find the mole will keep you on the edge of your seats for the whole 2+ hours. Quite a feat, really.
This film is definitely a watch for fans of gangsters and mobs. It's a roller-coaster ride of sorts with a lot of suspense. I would also advise getting the DVD version, which I will also do myself as our sensors had a kenduri getting all the good stuff nipped. As I didn't watch Internal Affairs, I wouldn't have an idea if it wasn't in the same spirit. There was a small tribute to the original by getting Chinese gangsters to be invoulved in the story. Other than that, it seemed like a great effort by Scorsese and his henchmen. All in all, a great movie with great acting and directing.
Not bad for just 10 bucks really.

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