brothercyst: This is just to say

Saturday, October 07, 2006

This is just to say

that I have seen The Departed, which came out last night, and it is so fucking good I can't believe how fucking good it is.

Forgive me, I don't mean to overhype the thing, but EVERY MINUTE IS DELICIOUS. I was twitching with glee by the end.

Scorsese's last two movies have been mannered and interesting. Aviator was architecturally solid but never really, so to speak, lifted off the ground. A good movie but you could anticipate everywhere it was going and it was "good" in standard ways. The Departed is a nutty, digressive, ferociously colorful movie, though, and you'll know it right off--as soon as the first lines of Nicholson's philosophical narration turn into a racist rant, and when moments later we see him casually shoot a woman in the head and then chuckle, "She fell funny." This is, like, the first two or three minutes. Later on Nicholson just goes to crazytown and builds a condo there. It's not the land of Howard Hughes and Katherine Hepburn--and thank heaven. Scorsese's best since Goodfellas? Absolutely. (Incidentally, I also liked it much more than Infernal Affairs, of which it's a remake.) Maybe even his best since Raging Bull. And unquestionably his most purely entertaining movie ever. God, it's good.

Seriously, go see this thing. It kills.


Ian said...

I watched The Departed on Friday night. I completely agree with your assessment. It put a bullet in the head of every other crime movie out there -- and they all fell funny.

NickAntosca said...

Ha! Well put.

Chief said...

It was/is good. And I think I agree with you that it vies with Goodfellas for his best since Raging Bull. Except, I like some of Marty's less ambitious films a lot: King of Comedy and After Hours were exquisite little things, though they weren't typically Scorsesian efforts (Much like Pnin was a perfect little pen portrait, though lacking the broader reach of Nabokov's major novels).

Great ouevres, both literary and filmic, are built on an array of differently-sized projects. If Scorsese was constantly trying to knock it out of the park, he'd end up with a bunch of crap, and we'd never have something as good as the Departed.

So, not that you're actually doing this, but it sort of gets my dander up when I hear people ranking a given artist's "major" works over his "minor" ones.

Anyway, you're right: the dialogue in the departed was beyond excellent. Alec Baldwin avuncularly hugging his underlings and exclaiming, "The Patriot Act! I love it!!!" was one of the better laughs I have had in a while. And DiCaprio's response to his shrink/love-interest after she says, "why is the last patient of the day always the hardest?" "Because you're tired and you just want to go home--there's nothing mystical about it." and a million other such gems, make the Departed Scorsese's best work in terms of getting the best line delivery out of his cast ever.