In the Dark

Infernally Yours

The Departed
Produced and distributed by Warner Brothers
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Screenplay by William Monahan

In The Departed, a raucously sordid meditation on the ways of the lower-class Boston Irish, director Martin Scorsese has included a passing tribute to Carol Reed’s peerless film, The Third Man.  Reed’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s novella concludes with a bitterly disillusioned woman, played by Alida Valli, walking toward the camera along a cemetery path.  As she gazes resolutely into the middle distance, her would-be swain, Joseph Cotten, stands waiting for her in the foreground.  When she reaches him, she doesn’t stop but walks by wordlessly, refusing him so much as a glance.  Crushed, he hangs his head, resigning himself to her magisterial rejection.

Scorsese’s rendition of this pas des deux also takes place in a cemetery and is meant to represent another relationship’s mournful dead end.  Typical of Scorsese, however, he and his scenarist, William Monahan, have not been content with the silence that served Reed’s film so eloquently.  Instead, they have the young man speak his plaint to the woman.  His remark is dramatically gratuitous, since both the lady and the audience know very well what’s on his mind.  But Scor-sese doesn’t trust his audience. ...

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