The Departed Essays

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The Departed
The Departed is a film built on the concept of gritty realism, which is used to create Scorsese’s glamorized view of organized crime. It is modern due to the ambiguous nature of its corrupt and often stereotypical characters. Scorsese weaves in popularized ethnic stereotypes throughout the plot, as he does in many of his other films. In fact, several parallels are visible between The Departed and Scorsese’s other films, including the cast. The screenplay by William Monahan is well adapted, and full of complex characters that make the film multidimensional. The South Boston setting is also an essential aspect of the film creating a world where organized crime can flourish and morals are blurred. The two lead characters
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These self-serving amoral characters are typical of modern films.
The film is grounded in an element of realism that revolves around the character of Frank Costello, who is based off the real life mobster James Whitey Bulger. The extremely graphic and violent nature of the film also presents a realistic look at organized crime. In the DVD extras a former associate of Bulger’s discusses the scene where Costello beats Billy’s broken hand with a shoe, saying that it is exactly the sort of thing Bulger would do. Scorsese uses realism to comment on the corruption inherent in all levels society, especially within our own government. The film looses some of its realistic quality by enforcing negative racial stereotypes. The racial slurs abundant in the film and duplicitous depictions of the Irish-American characters feed into a negative Irish stereotype. The Irish stereotype is a theme that is also present in Scorsese’s earlier film Gangs of New York. This brings me to my next point on the parallels between Scorsese’s films.
Scorsese’s unique style is apparent throughout with numerous parallels between The Departed and his earlier films. The Departed includes a flashback to the childhood of a lead character Collin Sullivan in the opening of the film. This explains what corrupted the character at such an early age. In The Departed it is Collin

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