The Departed

The introduction of the film, The Departed, begins in Boston. The story begins with Costello meeting Colin and offering him a job. Time moves on to show Colin’s police academy training. This scene is parallel with the introduction of Costigan and his academy training also. Colin works inside the police force to help Costello be above the law. Costigan is an undercover cop who works alongside with Costello.

The problem arises within Costello’s group and the police force that there is a rat in each. Both Colin and Costigan try to remain hidden while both are trying to find out who each other is. The turning point of the film would have to be the process of when each group was narrowing down the possibilities of each rat. The conclusion of the film is Costello had been working with the FBI all along and had given up both Colin and Costigan’s information.

The film is set with a classicism narrative. “The design of the plot is not concealed but heightened.” (365) The audience can figure out what is happening and guess along the way about what is happening next but they story is pieced together and makes it most interesting. “The final shot—because of its privileged position—is often meant to be a philosophical overview of some kind, a summing up of the significance of the previous material.” (361) In the end of the film, Colin confronts Costello about giving information to the FBI. This very scene makes the audience review the entire position Costello holds throughout the film. He may be a mob boss, but he was still working with the government.

Jack Nicholson gives a voice-over narration at the beginning of the film. He essentially creates the mood in the introduction. He is introducing the history of one of the characters and teaching him “the way of life” as he knows it. The love triangle between the two rats and the therapist is an excelling subplot within the story too. I can’t really decide who the protagonists are and who the antagonists are. Costigan would be a protagonist for the police force while Costello and Colin are the antagonists. But from the other point of view, Colin is the protagonist for the mob’s view while the police force and Costigan are the antagonists. The movie starts off with Colin so the audience is lead to believe him to be the protagonist. It all intertwines so well throughout the story line that we vote for both to do well. I believe this is what made the film stand out the most for the award. Both police force and mobsters are good and bad at the same time.

As one side of the story usually prospers over the other, did you expect the ending to come out the way it did?


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