Tonight, we decided to go to the movies. I was excited to see a film on the big screen in another country. I love going to the movies at home and I guess this would bring me a ‘little slice of home’ in a foreign country.
So first of all, we went on a Monday night and the movie was 7 pesos or $2.25!!!! You can’t beat that. It was cheaper to see a first run Hollywood movie here than to buy a local beer.
The second thing that was different was the popcorn. When we asked the concession guy for popcorn he kept mentioning dulces or sweets. We kept saying no, we don’t want any sweets…it turns out the popcorn was coated in sugar and he’d been trying to tell us that. Stupid Americans. I love my salty snacks, but this was pretty tasty.
OK. We saw the new Martin Scorsese flick, “The Departed” or here in Argentina, “Los Infiltrados.”I’ve noticed most movies don’t have a direct translation of the American titles—instead they have more logical translations.
Now, I don’t usually do reviews, but this is an exception.This movie was excellent, excellent until the last 20 minutes or so, then it became one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It shifted gears so dramatically and ended so horribly and stupidly that I still can’t believe it.We left the theater awestruck and completely crest-fallen. It had the chances of being such a great movie…and sorry Scorsese fans, but possibly the only Scorsese film I have liked in recent memory. And then it seemed to be made by a buffoon just like “Gangs of New York” and “The Aviator.” I thought both of these were laughable.
The movie seemed to have five different endings. In fact, if I’d walked out about 20 minutes sooner, I would have thought it was a better flick. Although I don’t like a lot of what Hollywood does in films these days, I am willing to put up with much of it as long as the film pays off in the end. I understand in watching films sometimes we have to suspend disbelief, but this went way beyond that. In spite of Scorsese’s compulsion/obsession with every filthy aspect of human nature, I was very much enjoying the performances and the story. Then, it seems he or the screenwriter had a brainfart. In light of that fact, all of the excess of the film caused it to implode. In the ensuing vacuum, I could find no redeeming quality of the film at all. What does the story tell us? It wasn’t true to itself at all. No one gained a thing. No redemption. No resolution.
Don’t get me wrong, the acting was superb, the story captivating, the suspense almost unbearable – what more could you want from a good movie? Well, as far as I’m concerned, without a good ending, all of the above amounts to little more than the hype that usually precedes a film, but in this case makes up the bulk of the film. I am not an expert on films in any way, but when I say ‘good ending’ I don’t mean a neat happy ending that maybe you think a girl would like, I simply mean an ending that makes sense and isn’t so stupid that I have to turn to my friend with my mouth agape and say “huh??’ only to be met with the same ‘what the hell was that?’ stare back in my direction.
Here’s what another reviewer said…and I can’t agree more:
“Let’s start with a very slow intro to an amazing story. Then let’s compile a dream cast of characters to act out this amazing story. So amazing in fact that it very well could be the best movie of the year. Then once this character had given up everything and risked his life in nearly every scene, let’s FINALLY give him the opportunity to hand over the dirty cop and set things straight. Well, we don’t have time to finish the story with a great ending, so let’s just kill him. Then at the end, let’s kill the dirty cop so he can be decorated as a hero instead of turning over evidence so he can be convicted. This could have been the best movie of the year, and the story could have been told in well under 2 hours. They should have just opened and closed with a firing squad and I could have been in and out in 10 minutes with the same results.”(–from IMDB.com)
Let’s just say many things (an envelope with information of the utmost importance, girlfriends, and possible babies) were shown in the movie and just never explained again. I mean full scenes were dedicated to things that could have ‘saved the day’ so to speak and then were never brought up again. Again, no expert here, but when you say things in a movie, they are almost always for a purpose—to explain some previous thing or to foreshadow some impending thing. This was not the case here. I was waiting for the end for this resolution that never came. I actually thought that maybe the wrong final reel was shipped to Buenos Aires and maybe we were seeing the final scenes that were meant to be deleted OR maybe a stupider version gets shown abroad?? I know these explanations are ridiculous—but the way the movie ended needs a better explanation in my mind, especially because it didn’t seem to match the first smart, clever two thirds of the movie. It was as if Scorsese or his writer gave up and someone else finished the movie. I just can’t understand how they let it end the way it did. Go see it. Then get back to me and tell me what you think.
Oh, by the way, here in Argentina they had an intermission in the middle of the movie. I think that’s where the wrong second film reel was slipped on by mistake. It had to be. I want my 7 pesos back!