Departed Recut, The
- NTSC DVD-9
Simple Cut List:
-Deleted all the set-up of Costello’s mole at the beginning.
-Cut all scenes of the mole contacting Costello until mid-way.
-The mole is revealed in the movie theater halfway through.
-Several trims here and there.
-Deleted the Madolyn is pregnant subplot. There’s no way that stick figure is into her second trimester at the end of the movie. And I never really liked it anyway.
Detailed Cut List:
-Added fanedit.org logo at start
-Deleted Costello scenes from the beginning.
-Cut scene of Costello and the mole meeting after graduation.
-Cut shot of Sullivan sipping coffee right after opening title.
-Cut scenes of Sullivan calling his father.
-Cut out Sullivan telling his team about the possibility of a mole. Now we first learn of a mole through Queenan and Dignam’s scene under the bridge.
-Cut Costello and the priests.
-During the attempted bust on Costello at the warehouse I cut a lot of short shots.
-Cut “No tickey, no laundry”
-Cut the scene of Costigan calling Dignam after the failed bust.
-Cut the scene of Costigan and Madolyn at the cafe. (It’s a good scene, but doing this makes her affair with Costigan more of a heat of the moment thing.)
-Cut Sullivan’s phone call from his boss with the cancer throat.
-Small trim to the Costigan and Madolyn sexual tension in the kitchen scene.
-Cut Costigan asking Queenan “Are you sure you weren’t followed?”
-Cut Madolyn being pregnant. “They say that right there is the penis” means she’s in her second trimester. Look at her, there’s barely any meat, let alone a baby.
-Cut out that fucking rat in the finale. Fuck that rat.
-New end credit music.
With "The Departed: Recut," Neglify demonstrates that not only is he among the top fan editors from a technical perspective, he also possesses that unique skill to take a movie -- and in this case a good movie -- and create an alternate, equally satisfying version.
This is truly an excellent fan edit, and Neglify should be proud of his work!
AUDIO/VIDEO QUALITY - 10
Even though I watched the AVI version of this edit, I detected no A/V quality issues as compared to what would be DVD quality (note - the AVI is not DVD quality, I'm only saying that I feel there was nothing that indicated any degradation from the original source, which was DVD).
VISUAL EDITING - 10
Neglify really shows his talent in the visual editing arena with this edit. He has masterfully removed a major component of the plot seamlessly, while fully retaining Scorcese's trademark visual feel and and style throughout. Any visual editing errors were so minor as to be inconsequential and not worth mentioning.
While watching this edit, I had the overpowering feeling that the visual editing was on par with the best I have seen, and it was a joy to experience such technical prowess, especially given the boldness of Neglify's goals. I truly could not tell most of the time if certain edits were done by Neglify or part of the original movie, which include standard cross fades but also hard cuts, visual overlays of other action while a character is speaking, quick jump cuts, freeze frames, and other techniques that if not perfectly executed, can stand out like a sore thumb. And they all fit in with the Scorcese style.
Truly superb work here, Neglify!
AUDIO EDITING - 9
Neglify's audio editing was also excellent, again given the amount of material cut as well as the restructuring he did to the storyline. For the most part, all the audio edits were invisible (as they should be), and he also skillfully employed more advanced techniques to allow us to move from one scene to another by using aforementioned video overlays as well as perfectly timed audio lead-ins.
I have deducted a single point here only because some of the edits did stand out just a bit to me -- for example, some hard cuts seemed not quite hard enough (like they were almost a fade, almost a hard cut, but not either of them). And there were a very few number of hard cuts that felt slightly out of place (though I know Scorcese himself was employing this technique within the film). Yet these moments were so few in number and really did not detract from my enjoyment in any way.
So again, excellent technical work here, Neglify!
NARRATIVE - 8
Clearly the major change that this edit introduces is to delay the introduction of "the mole" from the very start of the movie to around the middle. And I am happy to report that Neglify succeeds in doing this quite successfully!
By delaying this "reveal" until later, Neglify also makes the start of the movie much easier to follow. I also have to say that Neglify amplified the humor (in a good way, as humor mixed in with extreme violence is another one of Scorsee's trademarks) during the opening act of the movie, which got somewhat buried in the original due to the double storyline that one also had to pay close attention to.
I think the ultimate strength and triumph of Neglify's new narrative was that we really got to stick with and get to know Costigan. This was really my favorite aspect of this edit. Costigan's character was enhanced by many specific visual editing choices Neglify made that amplified our understanding of this character's motivations, as well as enhanced our sympathy for him. Neglify really provided ample space for this character to grow, and we really got to see both how important yet how little real family Costigan had in his life. When Queenan dies, the magnitude of emotion felt was strongly punctuated by this approach. And seeing Costigan continue to reach out to whomever he could, including his relationship with Madolyn, served to truly put him into tragic hero status. Excellent, excellent work here Neglify!
I also think cutting out the pregnancy was a great choice. I felt when it was introduced it merely complicated an already complicated story, and happens so late in the story that it really was a distraction more than anything else. So great job doing that as well, Neglify!
As for when to finally introduce the audience to who "the mole," is could not have been an easy decision. I cannot say whether or not a better moment exists. I think the moment Neglify chose worked just fine, even if it felt a bit anticlimactic (but perhaps that was one of Neglify's goals). When "the mole" is introduced, it does coincide at the moment where the two different character's plot lines actually cross, so from a narrative perspective the choice does make sense. Thus, I have no quarrel with this choice.
I think my only issues regarding this different approach to the Narrative -- and they are minor -- are that by delaying the reveal, we also lose a lot of Sullivan's character. He is much more one dimensional, and loses the father/son aspect with Cosetllo which was a key aspect to his character. By itself that would be fine -- he comes off more as a villain in this edit, and perhaps motives are not required. But there were a couple scenes that to me, felt out of place due to this approach. First was when Sullivan as buying his apartment; much is made about how big it is, and how expensive it is…Sullivan mentions he has a cosigner. This is kind of a tip off for the audience at worst, and at best it is merely confusing. The second issue I had was near the end, when Sullivan finally kills Costello. The dialog between them heavily implies a deeper relationship we never actually got to see or experience, and thus it felt a bit confusing or out-of-place.
Beyond that, I did feel like the pacing was slightly hurt somewhat with the types of cuts made to Sullivan's character in the beginning. We see him briefly, and interspersed with Costigan, but we (necessarily) don't get to understand anything about his background (unlike Costigan, whose background is discussed in great deal by Queenan and Dignam). Perhaps it might have worked better from a Narrative perspective to just delay our introduction to Sullivan until we see him after all his training exercises and he is already a cop. For example, maybe when Ellerby does his first introduction to the cops about who they are going after (which is also our introduction to Cosetello in this version of the story).
My only other issue is that, like the original movie, the plot still is a bit complicated to follow at times. This is not the fault of the editor, who was meticulous in not introducing any plot holes, and in fact (as I said earlier) does reduce the complexity. I do believe part of Scorcese's intention was to create a sense of confusion throughout the movie (why else would he cast the two main roles with actors who have a very similar appearance?)
Minor issues aside, I want to emphasize that Neglify succeeds brilliantly with his major narrative change to this intricate and complexly plotted movie; it's a change that could easily have fell flat on its face, but in fact did quite the opposite! Well done, Neglify!
ENJOYMENT - 9
When I first watched The Departed, I must say I didn't enjoy it all that much due to the complexity of the plot. I was not expecting it to be that complex I think! When I watched it again (perhaps a year or two later) I came in knowing I had to really pay attention, and knowing that, I greatly enjoyed the movie. But I could imagine that this is the type of movie where I have to be in the right mindset in order to enjoy. Thus my rating for the original varies anywhere from a 7 to a 9.
If I haven't already made this clear, I greatly enjoyed Neglify's version of this movie! It is just as good as the original, and thus I must give it the same enjoyment rating as compared to when I enjoyed the original the most.
Since this is a FanMix and not a FanFix, I hope equality in enjoyment is seen as a very high compliment, since it means the editor was able to change the story substantially yet still provide the same level of enjoyment (which in this case, is very high!)
OVERALL RATING - 9
Overall, this is a stellar example of what fan editing is all about. Neglify demonstrates truly admirable technical skills, while masterfully re-telling a story that ends up providing the audience a significantly different experience yet is just as good -- and possibly better -- than the original in many ways.
Just like the original movie, Neglify's made me think afterward about what I watched, and many moments from the film stayed with me long after the end credits rolled.
I think that is the mark of true excellence, and I salute Neglify for achieving it!
I highly recommend this edit to all fans of the Departed, as well as to anyone who might enjoy this specific movie genre!
The Departed: Recut gives a minor facelift to the classic thriller of moles and double agents. Like a skilled plastic surgeon, Neglify makes deft nips and tucks at strategic points in the story. Twenty-two minutes are cut but it feels like less.
I watched the fanedit first and the original version afterward. I preferred the fanedit and thought almost all the cuts were improvements. The uncovering of the mole is more suspenseful; even though the identity starts to become pretty obvious after a while, it was more satisfying to get it through clues than to get it by spoon feeding. After the mole is revealed Neglify trims scenes that are on-the-nose or cartoonish.
The Departed is a movie with bravura camera direction and editing, you could even say it shows off when the intercutting between Costigan and the mole gets hyperkinetic. Neglify tones this down so the pace of the fanedit is better and more consistent.
I disagreed with cutting Madolyn being pregnant. It makes Sullivan's motives for burning down the whole operation stronger and it sets up the blow-off scene at the funeral which I liked. But still The Departed: Recut is my go-to version now.
The Neglify M.O. to date has been to take on a film which is by all accounts, a good film and try something different.
The Departed Recut continues this trend and overall, with great results.
The theatrical cut of the Departed is a great film which I enjoyed tremendously in the theaters. Is Recut an improvement? Not in so many words, no. I will be hanging on to my BD of this edit, but Recut is a highly enjoyable alternate “What if?” viewing of the film which I would recommend to any fan of the original.
Let’s get the standard stuff out of the way. My review is based on downloaded the DL DVD
Image quality is great. I’m spoiled by the BD and cannot say exactly how this stands up against the retail DVD, but there is no obvious compression or blocking. Likewise the editing is smooth and flawless. In fact in my opinion Neglify has created some transitions/cuts which are actually handled better than in the original (I actually feel that the editing on the theatrical is one of it’s biggest flaws, there is an over-use of hard cuts, both visual and audio).
Audio is also great. No stray channels, transitions work well and he blends scenes together with overlapping audio with skill.
On my copy of the DL DVD the chapter markers are somehow screwed up. Played on multiple players and even my computer’s DVD program, the film cannot be paused and cannot be fast forwarded or reversed, this causes the entire picture to lock, whereas the audio continues. I don’t know if this is due to a bad burn or a problem with the build.
Overall I really enjoyed this version of the film. While there is no way to create that moment of OMG when the identity of the Rat is revealed, that is no fault of the editor because once you’ve seen the theatrical, the suspense/surprise cannot be created, but then again, after the first viewing of Empire Strikes Back, there is no way to recapture the surprise of Vader’s revelation.
Neglify’s goal of creating a version where the Rat is unknown works even better than I had expected and overall the narrative loses nothing in terms of story or character development. It is a shame that a viewer cannot go into this film without already knowing Sullivan’s link to Frank, because the moment of the reveal would be a lot of fun.
If there is one area on this edit that left me a little lacking, it would be pacing. This isn’t to say that the pacing is bad, it’s not, but because so much has to be cut out in order to hide Sullivan’s link to Frank, Bill’s timeline and experience feels a bit rushed. I can’t recommend a better way of approaching this, and overall this didn’t prevent me from enjoying the film and new approach.
Additionally, I have to concur with Gatos, the new ending is awesome. In fact as small a thing as it is, it ‘makes’ the edit because it is in keeping with the tone of the entire film. If I were to make a one-cut edit of the original, this would be it.
Because this is not an improvement on the original I cannot score this higher than I’d score the theatrical film, so I can only give this a 9/10, but I highly recommend it for any fan of the original, it’s an enjoyable and interesting alternate view on the same story, which is really what fanediting is all about.
Original review: June 30th 2012
Great alternative take on this already great film. By removing our knowledge of who the mole is at the top of the film, Neg gives the early scenes added tension and interest. I would probably argue it is somewhat unavoidable to ‘guess’ who the mole is, but there is some wiggle room given the quality of the supporting cast involved. Technically, this edit is excellent. Well done Neglify on completing your Noir Crime movie trilogy.
It had been a long time (years) since I had last watched my copy of The Departed, and I decided to take advantage of this oppotunity to experience Neglify's alternate take. The energetic pace, charisma, and focus of this version really engaged me -- had to use the restroom halfway through but decided to hold it in my own home.
First of all, by making who the mole is a reveal, this edit untangles what was a convoluted setup in the original. But that may prove to be a bad thing for certain fans of the original cut, as that convoluted nature was part of its premise and appeal. In excising this, Recut by Neglify changes the film from a tense cat and mouse between two main characters into a thriller centered around one main character, Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio).
This simplification was executed very well and to fantastic effect. I always felt more connected with the struggle of Costigan, and with Sullivan relegated to a supporting role and no knowledge that a mole even exists for some time, Costigan's story is allowed to resonate on its own. The film was able to focus in on his peril, paranoia, and isolation which are strong enough to carry this film on their own but got lost in the shuffle of the original.
This edit also strengthened Costello. There is now a build-up to his first appearance, and his presence is far more intimidating when only seen from Costigan's point-of-view. Likewise, Sullivan is far easier to like and relate to earlier on in this version. Despite losing the background between Costello and the mole, this edit makes up for it by emphasizing the arc of Costello and Costigan's developing father/son relationship, culminating in a scene between Costello and the mole that gives greater incite into what Costello saw in Costigan.
A lot is lost -- two supporting characters show up at the resolution whose screentime is almost nothing in this cut -- but a lot is gained. I may even slightly prefer Neglify's cut. For those willing to watch a completely different take on this Academy Award Winner, The Departed Recut by Neglify is a solid 9.5/10.