Nicholason is not a versatile actor. It is his
presence and understanding of human nature that makes
his performances interesting, even in bad films.
Taking on a key supporting role in "The Departed,"
Nicholson takes advantage of his screen history of
antisocial characters to boss around the new
generation of leading men; most notably Leonardo
DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg. While
DiCaprio, Damon and Wahlberg have the most screen
time, it is Nicholson who makes the most of every
moment. From the opening credits with the famous
Warner Brothers logo, Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello
narrates the opening passage of "The Departed."
Directed by Martin Scorsese, "The Departed" is set
in the underworld crime zone of Boston. During the
time of the Boston Berekely riots, Crime Lord Frank
Costello becomes one of the most feared racketeers in
bean town. During the shakedown of a local store
owner, Costello takes a shine to young Johnny
Sullivan. Sullivan grows up to look like Matt Damon
and joins the police force as a mole to Frank
Despite growing up in the Bostianian underbelly, Billy
Costigan (DiCaprio) manages to graduate from the
Police Academy. Costigan comes under the watchful
guise of Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Wahlberg),
two internal affairs officers. Queenan and Dignam
recruit Costigan to work undercover to bring down
As Frank Costello says; "When you are facing a loaded
gun, what's the difference? "The Departed" is a cat
and mouse crime thriller that deals with deception and
identity between the police and underworld. While on
the opposite side of the fence, Sullivan and Costigan
duel on an existential Freudian level. The two
characters are more alike than not and their showdown
is full of character revealing surprises.
While DiCaprio gets top billing and the more
sympathetic role, Matt Damon's Johnny Sullivan is
"The Departed's" leading man. Much like "The
Talented Mr. Ripley," Damon is becoming adept in
playing in playing two face roles. Sheen, Baldwin and
the Wahlberg brothers add depth to their supporting
roles as police officers. The only female in the
cast, Vera Farmiga, should make a name for herself.
Farmiga holds her own as the love interest of both
DiCaprion and Damon.
Much like "Hollywoodland," "The Departed" is too
long for it's own good. It is full of Martin Scorsese,
touches of painful violence and character building
scenes where people drop the profanity bomb upon each
other. There are some self conscious touches of humor.
One funniest in jokes involves bleeding heart liberal
Alec Baldwin as a police detective hugging Anthony
Andersen and screaming with joy;
"PATRIOT ACT!!!PATRIOT ACT!!! I LOVE IT!!!"
"The Departed" is one of the better movies of the
year and will be talked about for many years to come.
Most likely for the ensemble cast of "The Departed."
and for Scorsese's comfortable direction. This film a
reminder of the gangster dynasty that Warner Brothers
studios spawned seventy years ago when Edward G.
Robinson, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart shot it out
on the studio lot.http://www.deerfieldbeachobserver.com/f/Front_Page_10-19-06.pdf