19 October 2006

Review: The Departed

Genre: Drama / Crime

Like, I can sense, it was to fluidly string together, to review Mr. Scorcese's latest The Departed is a tricky business. The elements of its plot do not exactly form the best arc they might otherwise have, but there was clearly not a lacking in forethought or planning to blame. Mr. Scorcese's contemplative mind was no doubt at work for a long time piecing out what the best way to attack and attach the film's various competing storylines and testosterone-loaded fervor, to make a meaningful, but un-espresso-like, dose of gentlemanly adrenaline. No easy task I say, and, for the distinctive certainty of effort, I shall assign blame for the major flaws of this body film only to some shaky genetics (i.e ., to its screenwriter, though even about this decision I'm uncertain).
I am certain, however, about the caliber of the acting. Say what you will about his turn in that late 90s epic; I say Mr. DiCaprio's talent as an effective and powerful actor has grown undiminished ever since he first set foot onto a set in the early 90s. It was a pleasure to watch him heavily, yet stalkingly, pace the screen, in feverish animation. Mr. Nicholson's effort was also admirable, his well-to-do sloveliness charming, and Mr. Wahlberg was appropriately tempered.
Technically, the film was well handled, the unsightly task of editing accomplished. Nevertheless, I am left with a guttural feeling of ambivalence about the film. Perhaps it was too drawn out? Perhaps it was too mundane? Perhaps it was too masculine? I can't settle upon any premeditatedly probable cause for its tendency toward failure, which itself is unsettling, but I have no choice but to trust my instincts in saying just as I did when I watched the final scenes in the theater: 'Okay, may be it will realize itself later.'

Grade: B

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