Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Departed

Well, I have a blog. Let's try a movie review!

Movie: The Departed

Review:

Having heard good things about this movie, I stuck it near the top of my "To See" list. After it won an Academy Award, well, that kinda clinched it. And man, was it worth it.

The movie offered little paradigm-changing aspects, and was nothing ground breaking. It's merit, though, rests on simply how well it was done, as well as some innovative little quirks. The acting was exceptional; both Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio captured the duality and conflicts of their characters, and Jack Nicholson was right at home as a mob king. The entire movie was surprisingly believable, the story was complex and engaging, and it dealt well with the themes of loyalty and identity. The confrontations between the characters - which happens a lot with a story of symmetrical moles - were tense and would've had me on the edge of my seat, if I weren't lying on a couch.

Some of my favourite aspects, though, were the little touches with the music and editing. The movie had a ton of quick little cuts that set up the mood and caught the eye - a scene with DiCaprio's character, frantically packing a bag, has bits of footage simply taken out, so his hand jumps around. The music, too, was often cut mid song, coinciding with a scene change, and then after a few seconds immediately continued. As the climax is approaching, the heavy music cuts out with a scene change to the police headquarters as Damon's character makes some key decisions - and half a minute later, the tension is built and the chase continues, with the music blaring.

There are a couple contentions against the movie that I can think. One is its length - you think the movie is 15 minutes in before you see the title flash - although I paid attention all the way through. Also, its focus on Irish American life and customs, though adding realism and depth, makes the film less accessible to everyone. It also did not quite deal with its theme of father/son relationships as thoroughly as one might hope - it started out strong, but started to fizzle out later on.

Rating: With everything said and done, it's been a while since a movie has held my attention so raptly for so long, and made mob dealings seem real. And the editing kicked ass. 9.5/10.

4 comments:

dino said...

Yeah, I've been wanting to see The Departed for some time.

Some of my favourite aspects, though, were the little touches with the music and editing. The movie had a ton of quick little cuts that set up the mood and caught the eye - a scene with DiCaprio's character, frantically packing a bag, has bits of footage simply taken out, so his hand jumps around. The music, too, was often cut mid song, coinciding with a scene change, and then after a few seconds immediately continued.

That sort of stuff is sorely missing in films these days, in my honest opinion.

Devil From Russia said...

Wonderful first (or.. em second) post Oliver. Good review, very well written.Makes me want to see The Departed and maybe get around to finally starting the review section of my blog. I will definatly link to you next time I find the time.
Is this movie better than Forrest Gump or Astérix au futur?

(Yes... I do type in html... bad html)

Jesse said...

</badathtml>

I look forward to seeing the movie. Someday.

Oli said...

I agree, dino. And Artem, I can't compare it to Forrest Gump, since I'd have to rewatch it.

But, it falls short of Astérix au Futur. That's no surprise.