Monday, October 06, 2008

The Departed vs. Infernal Affairs

The Departed (2006) was based on a Hong Kong movie entitled Infernal Affairs (2002). There are many similarities between the two, and many differences as well. The result is two differing takes on the same screenplay.

First off, the most glaring difference between the two movies is that The Departed is nearly fifty minutes longer. Many of these fifty minutes are devoted to character development (particularly at the beginning of the film) and a building tension up to the first scene where both sides of the war discover a mole on the other side. Infernal Affairs just jumps into this concept about ten minutes in, whereas The Departed allows the story to boil over for about forty-five minutes first--as far as I can remember--before kick-starting the plot. The result is that the same scene in The Departed has a greater impact, because you care about the characters more and you contemplate the potential outcomes that every little repercussion the characters make may have.

Second, the two movies go off about handling the plot devices slightly differently. Infernal Affairs makes it immediately clear who each mole is and what side they are on. The Departed instead uses a long dialog between many characters, and still after that you are not 100% sure of what is going on. Other differences in the plot include little clarifications on The Departed's behalf, such as the cops asking 'Why are we chasing Martin Sheen?' before actually doing it. Little things like this give the viewer a more concrete understanding of each scene before going into it. This allows the viewer to better evaluate what is going on before it happens. Lastly, in The Departed, Matt Damon kills Jack Nicholson because Matt believed that Jack was ratting him out to the CIA. This was much more plausible than the idea in Infernal Affairs that the 'asian' Matt Damon decided to kill the 'asian' Jack based on some kind of childhood vow to make a choice in life and turn to the good side.

Third, most of the pivotal scenes--the scenes where major characters die--in Infernal Affairs were handled much differently. Infernal Affairs would use long, drawn out, slow cut-scenes, and then proceed to use flashbacks after it was revealed who died. In my opinion, this just lessened the shock and emotional impact of the surprise that somebody died. The Departed just kept the movie going at a fast-pace and didn't stop for any breathers. This upped the shock of every subsequent death as the movie progressed, as the murders seemed to come out of nowhere and be even more surprising than the last.

In conclusion, I would say that The Departed is a much more concrete and satisfying movie than Infernal Affairs. The Departed is much longer, but for good reason, and the result is that every scene has a greater impact than it did in Infernal Affairs.

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At 10/26/2008 11:58 PM, Blogger ifedajay said...

I love the Departed!

the end

and how come i don't know anything about movies these days?!


At 10/27/2008 1:19 PM, Blogger TheJBurger said...

I thought you hated the Departed.

It's good that you don't know anything about movies, because then you don't know how horrible Indy IV was.

At 10/28/2008 12:14 PM, Blogger ifedajay said...


i still wanna see it


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