preview

The Departed

Powerful Essays
The Departed

The Departed is a film built on the concept of gritty realism, which is used to create Scorsese’s glamorized view of organized crime. It is modern due to the ambiguous nature of its corrupt and often stereotypical characters. Scorsese weaves in popularized ethnic stereotypes throughout the plot, as he does in many of his other films. In fact, several parallels are visible between The Departed and Scorsese’s other films, including the cast. The screenplay by William Monahan is well adapted, and full of complex characters that make the film multidimensional. The South Boston setting is also an essential aspect of the film creating a world where organized crime can flourish and morals are blurred. The two lead characters Collin and Billy are pitted against each other in a struggle that further blurs the lines of morality, by redefining what is a good guy. The film leaves us with little resolution, but manages to captivate the audience from beginning to end. Ultimately it creates a meld of realism and the spectacular that makes it a true classic worthy of its Academy Award for best picture.

The ambiguous characters of the film are definitively modern. Each character is operating of their own agenda outside the lines of moral behavior. Billy Costigan plays the good guy in disguise to infiltrate Costello’s gang. Yet he dirties himself up by his affair with Madolyn. It is also revealed that he has a history of violent behavior that made him the perfect choice to play a criminal. His character clearly derives pleasure from his violent acts as demonstrated in the bar scene when he smashes a glass against another mans skull to protect his ego. Collin appears to be the good guy, but is in fact one of Costello’s lackeys. He ...

... middle of paper ...

...ower of the script that leaves a lasting impression. The lack of resolution at the end is frustrating and intriguing. When almost all of the central characters are killed and Dignam shows up to kill Collin in the crazy all plastic outfit I was left aghast. Collins death provides some resolution that the bad guy was punished, but more is left unanswered then answered. What is the fate of Madolyn and her unborn child, who is the father, what were Dignam’s intentions, did he know about Collin all along. The lingering questions of this modern film create a lasting impact on the viewer. Scorsese’s direction was spectacular finally nabbing him the Oscar for best director that he had been unjustly denied in several other films. This film is a flawless blend of gritty realism and the spectacular production of Hollywood that absolutely deserved its Oscar for best picture.
Get Access