We were about to watch The Departed. “This is a great excuse to review something,” I said to myself. And so that’s what I was going to do.
But when it was over I said to myself, “What am I supposed to write?”
The movie is too recent for it to be socially acceptable to spoil the ending. To do that I would say we have to wait at least two years after theatrical release. And that’s only the special exception that you make for your friend who has to tell you how the movie goes because otherwise you just can’t make her stop talking about it.
But without being able to discuss intimate plot details, all I’ve got is a superficial discussion of the movies “tautness” and how “well-acted” it is. I suppose such reviews don’t feel so awkward and out of place before the majority of the country is convinced that it is a good movie, but afterward they ring hollow.
To use a metaphor not too out of place in the context of this review, it’s as if I’m arriving at the funeral and pronouncing the man dead. There’s already a consensus on this topic, and restating it would give no one any benefit.
Perhaps I could disagree heartily with the consensus. That consensus, to quote Rotten Tomatoes is that:
The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality that has infused director Martin Scorcese’s past triumphs. Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast that includes Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon, some critics say the film even tops its source material (the Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs). The Departed marks a triumphant return to form for Scorsese; it’s his best-reviewed film since GoodFellas.
But to disagree with that is to fundamentally go against my personal opinion. Surely some aspects of that statement are far beyond anything I would think to say on the issue.
The fact that it was an adaptation: completely lost on me. As good as GoodFellas? Been a long time since I saw that one.
But in general I do agree with it. I might add that I was shocked when, at two hours in, I realized I hadn’t realized I was two hours into a 150 minute movie.
Thus, my review comes down to this single sentence. And though this sentence lashes the flourishes or typical reviews, it gets the job done.
And so finally, here is my review: This is good.