Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Departed Infernal Affairs

Allow me to indulge for a moment in movies. I was always amused with movie titles, when Infernal Affairs came out, I thought it was a documentary about ISA. When The Departed came out, I thought it was quick-commercialised cash-in on Thaksin's legacy. There was a time when I thought Waiting To Exhale was a movie about Malaysian public toilets!

Anyways... if there was no IA, The Departed would have been an excellent movie on its own as there would be no comparison. But there is, .... still, TD came out as slightly different but still A rated. When you are Martin Scorcese, you better make it differently. The story has to change a little. Basing it in Boston, the gang initiation thing could not possibly work, hence that initiation thing was kinda lost as to why Matt Damon was so close to Jack. The good twist was that the only girl in the movie was involved in a triangle, instead of the two having differing girlfriends. This was a shrewd rewrite and puts more meat into the girl character, at once bringing into her character questions about integrity, loyalty, attachment, disengagement and truth.

As usual Jack was a little over the top but still good. DiCaprio was very very good, the nuances and double-reverse psychology turns. Damon was a revelation, did extremely well but the fleshing out on his motives were not clear (not his fault, but more the director's and the screenplay). When you see TD, you'd be very glad to that there was Mark Whalberg's character, he did well but his character is more one-dimensional. MS did poorly on Martin Sheen, the emotional attachment or character rooting for Sheen's character was incomplete, unlike Wong Chau Sang's characterisation, you rooted for his character and his demise hits hard on the audience and on Tony Leing's character.

The violence was more vivid in TD, and unexpected, good stuff. The profanities in TD was a lot, but I think in reality, that's what happens, so don't be a sissy, get real. The envelope thing was way, way overdone by MS, looks amateuerish. One camera angle would have suffice, not 10 repeats.

IA was a lot better in colours, themes and visual layering. Dark suits, night time dealings, very stylish and minimalistic. TD will do well but this will prompt more viewers to appreciate IA even more. Both are excellent movies but hands down Infernal Affairs is a better movie.

2 comments:

Reel Fanatic said...

Great review ... I'm happy to hear Mr. Scorsese didn't screw up one of my favorite Hong Kong flicks (which was, really, a Hong Kong take on a Scorsese movie anyway) .. I'll be going to see this one later today, and I'm thoroughly psyched

Salvatore_Dali said...

Actually, I saw The Departed cos I was in HK last week when it premiered there. I thot it was a global thing but I came back to Malaysia over the weekend to realise that it hasn't opened in some countries, my bad. Still, Malaysia being the production and distribution center for priated stuff should see fuzzy copies out over the next few days.