Skillful Translation of a Crime Drama — 6 years ago
When I heard that Martin Scorsese was adapting the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs I was intrigued as it didn’t seem like something I thought he would be interested in doing. I saw Infernal Affairs before I saw the adaptation and it was interesting as it seemed to be influenced by Scorsese’s style and the way he shot his gangster films.
I didn’t get to see The Departed during the first theatrical release, but when I saw that it was being rereleased, I slipped out of work a little bit early one day and caught it in the theatre.
Knowing the broad outlines of the characters and plot allowed me to notice the style a bit more that I would have the first time through. While the film is violent, it didn’t seem to dwell on it as much as Scorese’s other gangster films. At this point in his career Scorsese could make a film in his sleep, so it is very interesting to see the things that he tries out in terms of constructing a film in the visuals, plot and the editing. The added twist with the Departed is seeing how some shots match the original with most of the plot intact with changes that reflect Scorsese’s sensibilities and strengths. It isn’t Scorsese’s best film, but it’s filled with some great performances (one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best that I’ve seen) and is solid.