If you had to trust someone to make a thrilling yet equally intriguing gangster film, it would almost certainly have to be veteran director Martin Scorsese. Following up on his success in films such as Good Fellas and Casino in the 90s, the 75 year old show runner returned to the Hollywood big screens accompanied by a star studded cast for his 2006 production, The Departed. Starring the likes Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Walhberg and Jack Nicholson, The Departed tells a tale of blood-soaked betrayal and the deep visceral nature of revenge, while blockbuster performances from its stellar cast and faultless cinematography make for a very enjoyable addition to Scorsese’s urban/ crime film repertoire.
The story follows the lives of two undercover agents; one – Colin Sullivan (Damon) – is a member of the Irish mob who is ordered to infiltrate the Special Operations Unit of the South Boston Police Department while his counterpart, Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) is his polar opposite, instead infiltrating the gang on the behalf of the SBPD. Despite operating in essentially the same spheres, the crux of the film lies in the hunt both characters lead for their opposite number’s identity which becomes a frenzied witch hunt filled to the brim with paranoia, distrust and double crossing. The result is a thrilling and unpredictable storyline which highlights the danger and confusion inducing anonymity which ensues once one’s identity is taken away.
The Departed – Friday 9:10pm on Sky Cinema (Oscars)