as mentioned previously, last friday the pixie decided that she really wanted to see scorcese's new film and i decided to surrender to her desire so long as we could count the departed as a chick flick. so on friday night i happily dodged a devil wears prada caliber bullet and we headed to the AMC down at the dirtmall.
if you like convoluted mob stories, can stomach ultra-violent gun play and enjoy star-studded ensemble casts you'll love this movie. the performances by the major players were excellent and mark wahlberg stole the show as detective dignam. i was surprised that the theme of this movie, which i'd summarize as "everything is what it is and also something else," lines up so well with a number of other narratives that i've enjoyed this year such as mark winegardner's crooked river burning. i am constantly fascinated with the contradictory polarities of both character and action that plague my life and, i suspect, plague others as well. i am also more and more convinced that stark authenticity and consistency of character and action is one of the most attractive features of Jesus' life and needs to be an essential characteristic of those who choose to embody Christ's gospel and compassion in this world. in the end the departed is, at least in part, a testimony to the dualities that appear to serve but often utterly doom our personal lives. thus, i think the story of the film's protagonists is as an excellent diagnosis of the human condition and, in a subtle way, serves as a stark warning for those of us who call ourselves Christians.