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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Heaven Holds the Faithful Departed

The Departed (2006) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Newly graduated cadet from the State Police Academy Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) makes plain clothes detective right away for his excellent record. He rents a bigger pad than he needs for him­self­—he's not married—or can afford on his salary (“I have a cosigner”) in a swanky neighbor­hood over­looking the Massa­chu­setts State Building. His secret benefactor is Boston-Irish mobster Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) who has groomed him to be his inside man on the police force.

From the same class comes one Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) whose father was an honest janitor but whose mother's side of the family had criminal ties. He wants to make some­thing better of him­self. His superiors Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) and Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) seize the opportunity of getting a “double kid,” to slip him into an under­cover role inside Costello's mob. He's not being paid because nobody else knows his identity, but he'll receive a bonus once his assignment is completed.

barkBy and by, Colin starts dating police psych­ia­trist Madolyn Madden (Vera Farmiga.) In a French gourmet restaurant, they're served for des­sert a teetering tower of a twisted, chocolate cake bark. It's hard to know where to pick it apart, but Colin says, “If it moves I'll shoot it.” In four months they become “very serious” and she moves in with him. The lease on her old place has not yet expired and she receives night visits from Billy for sympathy sex. As Colin becomes more domesticated he wants to move to a different city with Madolyn and burn his bridges behind him. She would have better opportunities there herself. Billy for his part wants to pull the plug on his under­cover role to get his identity back. The whole house of cards is about to shift and end in disaster.


Amidst all the criminal intrigue runs a smattering of wisdom. Frank admonishes a priest he recognizes about his pedo­philia, that it's inadequate to say, “I am as God made me.” The guy's fellow priest tenders the rejoinder, “Pride comes before the fall” (Prov. 16:18). Good advice that. (Prov. 2:10-11) “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, under­standing shall keep thee:”

(Prov. 2:12-15) “To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:” The “evil man … that speaketh froward things” is Frank “the tumor” who started his recruiting of Colin Sullivan (Conor Donovan) when he was but a freckle-faced kid eating at Park Luncheon­ette. When Frank was shaking it down, he set a hook for the kid with easy money. Frank had left the Catholic Church to become a wicked criminal.

applying makeup(Prov. 2:16-19) “To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which for­saketh the guide of her youth, and for­get­teth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.” Frank started seducing women to his way of life when they were young, giving the soda jerk girl some money to buy makeup with. The girls on this path don't grow up to be nuns (“We had a tasty relation­ship until she took her vows.”) Frank's moll Gwen (Kristen Dalton) was a real piece of work. And “little Miss Freud” after making her life's decisions, treated sex as no big thing. Colin's relation­ship with her was like to prove fatal.

(Prov. 2:20-22) “That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the trans­gres­sors shall be rooted out of it.” Billy's mentor Oliver Queenan was such a good man who wouldn't compromise even under torture. For an Irish-American that meant being a good Catholic.

Production Values

” (2006) was directed by the redoubtable Martin Scorsese. It was written by William Monahan and Alan Mak. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nichol­son. It has a choice sup­porting cast, including Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin playing the top cops. The acting was great.

MPAA rated it R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, some strong sexual content and drug material. In India, the film was given a UA (parental guidance) certificate for video release after a total of 14 cuts to violence and language were made. Scorsese does a skillful job cutting back and forth between the two undercover men.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“The Departed” is a solid, intense, non-stop crime thriller. It's a great work of art complete with inventive twists and clever writing, a veritable crime-action tour de force. This one will make you sit up and take notice.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.