Deception In Martin Scorsese's The Departed

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When barriers are erected between people, suspicion arises. Compared to the Hong Kong adaptation Infernal Affairs, Martin Scorsese surprisingly increases the air of suspicion by lessening the interaction between the two protagonists in the Departed. He intentionally shows how the ugliness of deception stimulates mistrust and how constantly being skeptical makes our identity perplexed. Therefore, this essay will explore how deception fuels suspicion and confuses one’s identity.

The Departed is about two authorities, the police force handled by Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and the Irish mafia handled by Costello (Jack Nicholson), sending in undercover agents, Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) from the police force to the mafia and Sullivan (Matt
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Since Sullivan is intimidated by the unknown mole (Costigan) in mafia, threatened by how he will lose everything, he believes the mole would turn himself in when his handler, Captain Queenan is dead. When Captain tries to escape from Sullivan’s men, a clever tracking shot follows him from stairs to stairs, letting the viewer appreciate the intensity of the incident. A sense of helplessness and discomfort is also reflected by the fast moving camera, which helps to show Captain’s astonishment and anxiety from Sullivan’s unexpected attack and his fear of exposing Costigan’s…show more content…
By extending the silence between the two characters and the ringing phones, the audience is pulled in, as the tension builds. Despite the short duration of their first encounter, the phone call reveals how suspense can be built to intensify doubt and suspicion between characters.

Through skillful editing and lighting, Scorsese again successfully portrays how suspicion and confusion can be created separately in the light of deception. He employs a jump cut in the beginning to elucidate how the story of Costella, the boss of the mafia and Sullivan begins. Compared to the scene in which Sullivan ends their story, although both scenes apply reverse shot, their relationship is not the same as
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