My Rating: A (Outstanding) – Only the mindless killing-off of main characters at the end stops me from giving this an A+ which it deserves.
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson
The first one minute of the opening will give you the message loud and clear – if you came to watch a family movie and dropped into this theatre by mistake, there’s still time to leave. I’ll keep this short, because I DON’T want to give the story away for this.
And why so late? I wanted to post this earlier, but after watching Marty crying after getting his Oscar, that spurred me on. Wow, he WAS overwhelmed when he got the Oscar. That too, to be given an award by his friends (Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas) when he didn’t get five times earlier must have been something. At the ceremony though George Lucas pretty much had the look of an out-of-work Santa Claus, as if he was going to clobber Marty and keep the statuette for himself. Then there was Jack Nicholson grinning sinisterly backstage, looking as if he would clobber the Three Wise Men if Marty didn’t get it. Anyway, Marty did, on a huge sympathy vote wave.
Which simply doesn’t explain this movie winning, because it deserved every bit of it. It’s not all about gore, as some people think before seeing this. It’s got an amazing story. It gives an insight into gang culture. It’s about Billy Costigan (Leo) who is a police officer working as a mole in gang lord Costello (Jack); and gangster Collin Sullivan (Matt) working as a mole in the police. The tension that tears these characters apart, the game of deception and cat-and-mouse is definitely more Spy vs Spy and not Tom and Jerry.
Personally, I’d say Matt Damon was the best, followed by Jack Nicholson. Leonardo was good too, except for the funny look on his face as if somebody had stuffed smelly garlic cloves inside his shirt.
There’s one interesting goof-up though. When you see Sullivan’s character using a normal PCs (if I’m not wrong, they show a Dell) at the police HQ, the interface on the screen looks like that of Mac OS X. Definitely Mac. I think visual effects team forgot that, the sequences of video team separate, and then recorded the screen captures in some swanky studio running Macs. The visual effects team also forgot 1) it’s not legal to run a Mac OS on a PC, and cops won’t do it; 2) cops might not have the knowledge or the time or the permission to switch OS at office; 3) all viewers are not stupid.
For music buffs, this is a treat too. They got biggies like Roger Waters and The Rolling Stones original performances, and there’s some amazing old school rock music. I still don’t get people’s fascination for associating Comfortably Numb with drugs, because I read on some music site that Roger Waters said they meant that the felt numb after getting medicines while sick in childhood.
The only thing I didn’t like is the killing off of characters. In fact, William Monahan the writer suggested a sequel, but that idea had to be dropped since, hell, all the main ones were dead anyway!
Seriously, don’t miss this movie. And don’t wait like Rach to buy a disc and rip its plastic off.