Scorsese’s back on the meanstreets
When Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) joins the Boston State Police Force he is coaxed into an undercover operation that aims at bringing down Irish mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). Since Costigan’s family has loose ties to the mob he seems to be the perfect choice for this delicate undertaking. Once accepted into Costello’s inner circle, he learns that Costello has at least one mole within the specialinvestigations unit, therefore making him extremely difficult to put behind bars. When several operations are foiled by the respective undercover players, suspicion and paranoia arise within the mob as well as the police force. With lives hanging in the balance and time running out, Costigan as well as Costello’s mole Colin (Matt Damon) desperately try to reveal each others identities.
After a short excursion into the historic biopic with The Aviator, Scorsese is finally back in his milieu. That is to say the streets and R-rated movie making. Scorsese, who famously announced that he would never do a remake, rethinks the 2002 Hong Kong thriller Internal Affairs and makes it his own. The trademark visuals and the occasional bursts of violence give this movie its edge and its tense atmosphere which already made Goodfellas and Casino outstanding movies. In his third collaboration with Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio gets probably the most intense role and delivers an absolutely staggering (and very mature) performance. It goes without saying that Jack Nicholson as well hits it out of the park as the deliciously twisted Frank Costello. Only Matt Damon seems to be struggling (at times) with working in the shadows of such incredibly talented (and experienced) actors. But this does not really affect an otherwise perfect movie. Being snubbed by the academy during the previous years we say Scorsese really needs to be given some recognition. In the form of a little golden statue.
The Departed is rated R for some really nasty language.