I thought The Departed was fiction, but apparently it is actually "revisionist history." At least, that is the opinion of a man who won't go to see the Oscar-winning film. There are a number of people who are like him, too, who are avoiding the picture because of its "glorified" depiction of real-life Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger. These people are the families of Bulger's victims and they each have their accusations. One man says the filmmakers are cashing in on the story while another claims the film displays "hero worship" for Bulger. One even claims the film protects the still-at-large criminal. Never mind the fact that The Departed is a remake of a Hong Kong filmor the complete absence of any claim that the film is based on a true story, Bulger's or anyone else's, and these people have a point. But really, they have no reason to be angry at Warner Bros. because they feel exploited by the film.

It is certainly evident that Jack Nicholson's character, Frank Costello, is loosely based on Bulger, but according to Martin Scorsese, the basis is only enough to make the film's gangster seem true. It doesn't help his case, however, to include a documentary about Bulger on the special edition DVD in the first place. Following two historically based films that were criticized enough for their revisions, Scorsese could have distanced himself as much as possible from making any link to true stories, but he didn't because he shouldn't have to. He makes movies, not textbooks. If Warner Bros. makes him apologize for any of this, we should all complain even louder. Maybe the studio would even apologize to us for being so apologetic.
categories Cinematical