Film Review Friday: The Departed

The Departed is a movie in which the Boston police department is trying to take down an Irish gang. They ask a trainee, Billy (Leonardo DiCaprio), to go undercover and enter this gang. He remains in the gang for over a year, and eventually becomes a suspect of being exactly what he truly is. However, there is a gang member pretending to be a policeman as well, named Colin
(Matt Damon). Billy has to risk his life to stay undercover and be sure he doesn’t lose his identity.

In The Departed, the camera nearly serves as its own character, focusing on significant details much like an investigator. The camera does a great job at directing the audience’s attention toward what the director
wants the audience to see. There are two iris shots that show only one character, implying that
this character is alone. The audience then focuses on what this character is doing and thinking.
As in every typical action movie, low angle shots are used to show the power of a character with
a gun, and close up angles are used in sex scenes to show intimacy.

The most notorious shot of the entire movie is the frame that gradually zooms in on the Boston State House. The gold top of the building is beautiful; it contrasts the malicious crimes of the city.

This shot is shown at the beginning of the movie, when Colin Sullivan first buys his apartment                                            and begins his new life as a “policeman.” It is shown again at the end of the movie when Sullivan is in the same room, with a bullet in his head and his blood covering the floor.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. I thought the beginning was slow and the back-andforth
actions of Billy went on for so long they became almost silly. However, the abruptness of
the ending made me jump in my seat. Just like in Shutter Island, also directed by Martin
Scorsese, nobody could have predicted the ending of this movie. Usually the protagonist of a
movie does not get killed because they are the person the camera follows throughout the whole
plot, but Scorsese does not abide by this unwritten rule. This successfully shocks the audience. I
really enjoy the unpredictable endings that Scorsese seems to conclude his movies with.

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