It’s hard to believe it’s 10 years since this masterpiece came into our lives, it is what I believe to be one of the greatest films of the last decade. It is so beautifully written with such a captivating narrative. The casting is 100% on point; as always Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, even Alec Baldwin, who I usually think of as a bit of a joke actor, create a compelling team of characters that truly bring this film to life.
Even before the title comes onto the screen we have already learnt so much about the story, who we should trust and who we hate, the goodies against the baddies. Yet, somehow, after learning all that in the first 8-9 minutes we are completely engrossed by the story and where it’s going to go.
The cinematography helps ass to the perfection of this film, smooth, long panning shots make each and every second so much more addictive. As for the editing I think of it as one huge montage, the inclusion of the continuous soundtrack makes the story feel fast paced. Each individual narrative has a different style to the score which helps the viewer relate to the characters and sets the tone of the scene.
I love to see a film that is solely dependent on the progression of the characters, everything about this film is because of the characters and without the insane amount of talent the characters would be nothing.
It’s also clever how people, like myself, who don’t know much about the setting of this film, mafia, Boston, Irish heritage, instantly know what’s going on and what it must have been like around that area when these things were happening.
Towards the end of the film evening is moving quite calmly, then all of a sudden Martin Sheen’s characters dead body falls off the roof of a building and then BAM the drama intensifies and that’s when it gets better and better right up to the closing credits.
I think my favourite moment in the film is the completely silent scene between Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio when they’re on either end of the police phones. They’re just there, on the screen, with the phones to their ears and staring straight ahead. So much happens in those few seconds of silence that words would have killed it. It is that moment that Leo’s character, Billy, suddenly works everything out and we, as the audience, work out that aside from all the murder and the crime and the police the actual whole point of this film and the story is the relationship between these two characters. They don’t meet each other officially until the last quarter of the film, this moment on the phone is the first time they have contact and somehow, the whole film revolves around how they effect each other.
That’s the beauty of the simplicity of this piece of art.