ThinkExist Dynamic daily quotation

"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

secret Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Last Night was a Far Departure from Other Nights

Last night, she drove me to distraction, taking me into an unknown world of an unwitting love triangle set right in the heart of a gritty and seedy underworld; a place where deception was de rigeur; where murder was expected; where lies and the viscerally criminal work in tandem.

When she began the journey with me, I was reminded of my first lesson many years ago in creative writing class: Begin with the end in mind. When she ended, it was clear that one had to mind one's beginnings.

Either way, so tantalised was I by this strange, albeit occasionally platitudinous world, that after the journey, I didn't know where to start. So I went for a walk with my dog, my mind replete with snapshots of the journey I had embarked on.

I kept thinking about her, and how wonderful she is; how she exuded creativity so real I almost felt I was part of her.

Too bad she was only...a television set.

Even then, her journey was a far departure from the others..

There are films, and there are films.

"The Departed" is a cult film. A classic.

When Matt Damon--hunting a rat with bad will--was plotting, prosecuting his diabolical agenda, I swear I saw vestiges of "The Talented Mr.Ripley" at work.

Condemnations--excessive almost--by his character Sullivan about gays and queers did not only have an uncanny parallel with Mr.Ripley (who is queer), but about the Sullivan character who was this side of a bit the other side.

More like the other side... of good! Sullivan certainly looked like a bad guy--exuding arrogance and criminal intelligence in an explosive mix--trained from his youth by crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) to not just be a bad 'un, but be one who would be able to strategically fill him in on information from no less than the elite police unit that Sullivan had, ironically, worked hard to get into.

And what of Costigan? Another bad 'un--or so we thought. He wanted his identity back; he got something else in return.

Mark Wahlberg's wit would have been legendary if only it had been him--and not his character Dignam: a no-nonsense hardened cop with a penchant for the 'f-word'. Loyal. Trustworthy. Like his avuncular boss, Queenan (Martin Sheen), whose end was far from pretty.

The cinematographic characterisation of Costello in the beginning was cute: he was shown with a half-darkened face; a gruff voice; erudite-sounding tongue. Truly a paradox.

He liked to say: "no-one gives it to you; you gotta take it!". And he took alright! But you kept wondering--was he the Devil incarnate, or a glorified criminal? Truth is when you have a gun in your hand, "what's the difference?" The difference, like the devil, is in the film's details.

The accents. The Irish pedigree; the seamless time; the increasingly sadistic and desperate nature of Costello. His slow-and-sure distrust of Sullivan. Costello's strength (Sullivan) in weakness (his impotence?). Nicholson's reminisces of "The Shining".

But I digress.

If I never used superlatives for this film, it's because I do not have to.

Suffice-to-say, Damon excels; Nicholson outdoes himself'; Sheen and Baldwin are there; Wahlberg, too.

But the real prize goes to the real (state) trooper, who was told he would never be a state trooper: Di Caprio as Costigan.

The writers pulled an excellent piece here.

Any writing class teacher will tell you to "begin with then end in mind". They certainly began with the end in mind.

But if there's anything about this classic movie, it's a cautionary tale of minding one's "beginnings"...because you never know where it might take you.

Go get this film now!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,


At Tuesday, April 24, 2007 5:38:00 pm , Anonymous Elsa said...

I haven't seen The Departed yet but I've seen Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou)
The Departed is a remake of Infernal Affairs which is an amazing movie!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

  < ? Blogs By Black Women # > eXTReMe Tracker CONTENT Copyrighted ©E.K.BENSAH II PRODUCTIONS. 1998-2010