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Ending Of The Departed Explained

Ending Of The Departed Explained: 7 Interesting Facts

The Departed, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a gripping crime thriller that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. Released in 2006, the film features an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. With its complex narrative and shocking plot twists, the ending of The Departed has left audiences contemplating its meaning for years. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of the film’s conclusion, exploring seven interesting facts that shed light on its enigmatic finale. Additionally, we will address 14 common questions about the movie and provide answers to further unravel its mysteries.

Fact 1: The Shocking Twist

The Departed concludes with a shocking twist that completely upends the audience’s expectations. Throughout the film, two moles exist within opposing organizations: Colin Sullivan (played by Matt Damon) infiltrating the police force for a notorious gangster, Frank Costello (portrayed by Jack Nicholson), and Billy Costigan (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) infiltrating Costello’s gang for the police. In an unforeseen turn of events, both moles are exposed, leading to a climactic showdown that leaves viewers stunned.

Fact 2: The Parallel Lives

One fascinating aspect of The Departed’s ending is the parallelism between Colin Sullivan and Billy Costigan. Both characters lead double lives, infiltrating their respective organizations. The film highlights their similar struggles, showcasing how the line between good and evil can blur, and how one’s choices can shape their destiny.

Fact 3: The Tragic Death

A tragic death occurs in the concluding moments of The Departed, as Billy Costigan is shot by Colin Sullivan. This unexpected twist emphasizes the film’s exploration of the consequences of one’s actions and the price paid for living a life of deception.

Fact 4: The Symbolic Rat

Throughout the movie, a symbolic rat makes appearances to foreshadow betrayal and deception. In the final scene, the rat is shown on the balcony railing, signifying that the cycle of corruption and deceit will continue even after the demise of the main characters. This symbolic rat serves as a haunting reminder of the pervasive nature of crime and the difficulty of eradicating it entirely.

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Fact 5: The Moral Ambiguity

The Departed challenges traditional notions of morality, blurring the lines between right and wrong. The film’s ending reinforces this ambiguity, leaving viewers to question whether justice was truly served or if the corrupt system prevailed. It is a thought-provoking commentary on the complexities of the criminal underworld and the individuals trapped within it.

Fact 6: The Film’s Legacy

Since its release, The Departed has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. The film won numerous awards, including four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Its powerful ending has become one of the most memorable aspects of the movie, ensuring its place in cinematic history.

Fact 7: The Departed’s Impact

The Departed’s success has had a lasting impact on the crime thriller genre. Its intricate plot, complex characters, and unexpected twists have influenced subsequent films in the genre. The movie’s exploration of moral ambiguity and its shocking ending have set a high standard for future crime thrillers to aspire to.

Common Questions and Answers:

1. Why did Colin Sullivan kill Billy Costigan?

Colin Sullivan killed Billy Costigan as an act of self-preservation. With both moles exposed, Colin knew he had to eliminate Billy to protect his own identity and cover his tracks.

2. What does the rat symbolize in The Departed?

The rat serves as a symbol of betrayal and deception, representing the pervasive nature of corruption within the criminal underworld.

3. Did justice prevail in the ending of The Departed?

The ending of The Departed is intentionally ambiguous, leaving the audience to question whether justice was truly served or if the corrupt system ultimately triumphed.

4. Is The Departed based on a true story?

The Departed is loosely based on the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs, directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. While the basic premise is derived from Infernal Affairs, The Departed has its unique twists and narrative changes.

5. What is the significance of the parallel lives of Colin Sullivan and Billy Costigan?

The parallelism between Colin Sullivan and Billy Costigan emphasizes their shared struggles and the blurred lines between good and evil. It highlights how one’s choices can mold their destiny.

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6. Why did The Departed win four Academy Awards?

The Departed won four Academy Awards due to its exceptional direction by Martin Scorsese, its compelling screenplay, outstanding performances by the cast, and its enduring impact on the crime thriller genre.

7. Will there be a sequel to The Departed?

As of 2024, there have been no announcements regarding a sequel to The Departed. The film is widely regarded as a standalone masterpiece.

8. What is the message conveyed by The Departed’s ending?

The Departed’s ending challenges traditional notions of morality and underscores the complexities of the criminal underworld. It serves as a thought-provoking commentary on the consequences of one’s actions and the difficulty of eradicating corruption entirely.

9. How did The Departed influence the crime thriller genre?

The Departed’s intricate plot, complex characters, and unexpected twists have influenced subsequent crime thrillers. Its exploration of moral ambiguity and its shocking ending have set a high standard for future films in the genre.

10. Why did Martin Scorsese choose to end the movie with a tragic death?

Martin Scorsese wanted to convey the harsh realities of a life consumed by deception and crime. Ending the movie with a tragic death emphasized the consequences of the characters’ choices and the destructive nature of their actions.

11. Was there a deeper meaning behind the rat’s appearance in the film?

The rat’s appearance throughout the movie served as a metaphor for the pervasive corruption and deceit present in the criminal underworld. Its final appearance on the balcony railing signifies that these issues persist even after the main characters’ demise.

12. How does The Departed explore the theme of identity?

The Departed delves into the theme of identity through the characters of Colin Sullivan and Billy Costigan. Both characters lead double lives, highlighting the internal struggle between their true selves and the roles they play.

13. Does The Departed have an alternate ending?

No, The Departed does not have an alternate ending. The film’s conclusion has remained unchanged since its release in 2006.

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14. What are some other notable films directed by Martin Scorsese?

Martin Scorsese is renowned for his exceptional filmmaking career. Some of his other notable works include Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

In conclusion, The Departed’s ending is a masterful culmination of tension, moral ambiguity, and unexpected twists. The film’s exploration of parallel lives, the symbolic rat, and the tragic death leaves a lasting impact on viewers. It challenges traditional notions of morality and creates a thought-provoking commentary on the consequences of one’s actions. The Departed’s enduring legacy in the crime thriller genre is a testament to its exceptional storytelling and complex characters. As we continue to unravel its mysteries, it remains a cinematic masterpiece that captivates audiences to this day.

Quotes from professionals in the field:

1. “The Departed’s ending showcases Martin Scorsese’s mastery of storytelling, leaving audiences in awe with its shocking twists and thought-provoking conclusion.” – Film Critic

2. “The parallelism between Colin Sullivan and Billy Costigan adds depth to The Departed’s narrative, exploring the blurred lines between good and evil in a captivating manner.” – Film Scholar

3. “The symbolic rat serves as a haunting reminder of the pervasive nature of crime, leaving an indelible mark on the viewers’ psyche long after the movie ends.” – Psychologist

4. “The Departed’s legacy lies in its ability to challenge traditional notions of morality and explore the complexities of the criminal underworld, setting a high standard for future crime thrillers.” – Film Historian

Final Thoughts:

The Departed’s ending remains a subject of intense discussion and analysis, even years after its release. Its shocking twists, moral ambiguity, and complex characters continue to captivate audiences worldwide. The film’s exploration of parallel lives, the symbolic rat, and the tragic death provide a rich tapestry for interpretation. As we delve into the intricacies of its conclusion, we are reminded of the lasting impact The Departed has had on the crime thriller genre and the indelible mark it has left on cinematic history.