The Departed Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

In 2006, director Martin Scorsese and Warner Bros Pictures presented to the world their film The Departed in the crime-drama thriller genre. During his time, he managed to shoot many films in this genre, and they often contained scenes of violence and cruelty, for which Martin was glorified in his circles as a master of gangster films.

In today’s article, let’s talk about The Departed and the main idea that Scorsese wanted to convey to the audience, who received the first Oscar for this work.

What is the movie about?

The events unfold in New York, where two sides of it are presented to the attention of the viewer at once: criminal life and the life of law enforcement agencies.

We also see two main characters whose fates are mirror identical. The first one is Colin Sullivan. This is a simple guy who succeeds in everything in life. After training at the police academy, he easily gets a good job in a prestigious company, settles in the city center and gets a girlfriend. The second is William Costigan. The guy does not have such an easy fate as the first. His family was always fragile, and then relatives began to leave the world of the living, and he could not get a place in the police. However, having learned that William was always in two camps, because it was impossible otherwise, police officers Quinan and Dignam decide to make him a secret agent, offering to serve a short term and thereby attract the attention of one of the main enemies of the city.

They are the head of the Irish mafia, Frank Costello, who did not reckon with anyone. William managed to ingratiate himself with Costello by becoming a “good rat” who wants to ruin his plans and turn him in to the police. The situation is more interesting with Colin, whom Frank considered his own son, but through him he wanted to play games with the authorities, and had been preparing him for this since childhood. Colin becomes a “bad rat” who supposedly serves for the good of the motherland, but in fact protects Costello and his power.

Both camps are looking for a rat in their environment, which transmits all the information to the opposite side and does not allow them to win, in connection with which many people suffered and a lot of blood was shed.

Explanation of the meaning of the film “The Departed”

The director wanted to draw public attention to the inner world of a person, as well as the impact on others on each other. The film clearly traces the relationship of two opposites – Colin Sullivan and William Costigan, who play two life roles on different sides, studied at the same academy and love the same woman.

The viewer is first attracted by the figure of Colin, because from the first impression he seems to be a successful and happy person, but inside he is callous, because his own benefit is his priority. But despite this, he can ingratiate himself with anyone.

Further attention falls on the impulsive Ulyam, who is on antidepressants and is always the first to start fights and scandals, from which not only he himself suffers, but also the people around him. Costigan is not cast as a cop out of distrust of his lineage, but when offered to play a tougher role, he accepts it because he really wants to serve his state.

As it turned out, not everything is so simple in the world, because we cannot know the true goals and impulses of a person even being next to him, since we are a third person in his life. You should not condemn a person for his actions, and even more so for the appearance and the first impression received.

The film also talks about the fact that you should rely on yourself and be responsible for your decisions, because Fortune is a blind goddess, and luck can either say goodbye to you or throw itself on your neck at the most unexpected moment, so relying on it is not the best best idea.

The meaning of the film’s ending

By the end of the story, William recognizes Colin’s secret and realizes that he was the cause of all the misfortunes, however, he also understood his whole secret. Both heroes are doomed and sentenced to exposure and death, as evidenced by the frequent appearance of cross-shaped signs throughout the film.

Each of the storylines has come to its logical conclusion. And, no matter how sad it was, almost all the main characters died, often in the most unexpected moments. Everyone pays for what they have done, closing the circle. This is done without unnecessary lyrical digressions, thoughts of the characters and their tearful dialogues, everything happens quickly and dynamically, leaving the viewer in suspense until the very end and forcing him to draw his own conclusion.

If we recall the beginning of The Departed, then we can recall that Costello gives Colin a set of products, and at the very end, an adult Colin was killed by a policeman with the same composition of products in his hands. Such a brilliant and interesting detail could not be overlooked by experienced film critics, like everyone else, so the success of The Departed was inevitable.

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