Sunday, October 08, 2006

Don't call it a comeback.

Forget all of the silly “comeback” pieces – they’re the province of unimaginative journalists and editors who believe that their primary audience is composed of trend-chasing 24 year olds. The pleasures of The Departed come from Scorsese doing what he has always done best, telling a complex story (in terms of psychology as well as narrative) with a cinematic style that lives up to the medium’s name: moving pictures. It’s fast, sometimes confusing (but in a way that encourages multiple viewings) and unsparingly bleak in its portrayal of corruption and evil. Evil, as it happens, is the central theme of Scorsese’s film, and if you’re thinking that there’s a happy ending that which redeem anyone – from the devilish mob boss played by Jack Nicholson to the twin pairs of moles – a cop pretending to be a hood and a hood pretending to be a cop – played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon – well, you’ve got the wrong picture. I won’t give away plot points: if you’ve seen Infernal Affairs, it’s a surprisingly faithful remake, but with a better grip on the psychological pressures that turn these two warring moles into near-psychotic adversaries. Why worry about comparing it to Goodfellas or Casino or anything else? It’s a serious work from a major film artist. That’s not good enough for you?

A brief and somewhat fatuous interview with Scorsese can be found here.

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