‘The Departed’ is set in South Boston, where the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy is quickly gaining Costello’s confidence, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the gangsters and the police that there’s a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy – and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself.
“The Departed” will be spoken of highly in Academy circles this year with many of the cast being nominated for Oscars, as actors in films like this often are. Deception begets deception and violence begets violence in this shoot-’em-up action thriller. Who is the good guy and who are the bad guys? In fact no-one really knows as everyone gets murdered in this Scorsese blood fest.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been a true hero or villain in this film but the director would have us believe that everyone is crooked or has an angle. Even the good cops turn out to be not so nice after all and just when you think the killing is over, someone else gets shot in the head at close range with blood spatter and all.