Author Topic: Casting Mistakes/Blunders - The Departed - A Case Study  (Read 993 times)

Offline ednbarby

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Casting Mistakes/Blunders - The Departed - A Case Study
« on: October 10, 2006, 11:02:51 am »
OK, so I just saw "The Departed" the other day, found it slightly flawed, couldn't put a finger on why.  Then it came to me - Leonardo DiCaprio was miscast.  For some reason, Martin Scorsese has decided that he's his new Robert DeNiro.  I think Leo's all right - I quite enjoyed him in "The Aviator" - but I'm just not buying him as a gangster (or gang infiltrator).  So I was thinking yesterday, "Who could have played his role in 'The Departed' better?"  Of course my thoughts turned to Jake and Heath.  I figure Jake could have pulled it off because I believe he can do anything.  But Heath - oh, my.  There's your new Robert DeNiro.  His look would have been *perfect* for it.  And he totally could have pulled off the Southie accent (which I find similar to an Aussie one, anyway) and *TOTALLY* could have pulled off all the subtlety required of a conflicted undercover cop.  Wow.  It would have been a masterpiece with him in the role.  As it was, whenever Leo was onscreen, it kind of fell flat for me.  Frankly, whenever Matt Damon was onscreen, it kinda fell a little flat, too.  I used to think he could do anything, but I'm starting to think he's being overrated in this one.  His performance, minus the accent, is no different from his performance in the "Bourne" movies.

So then I think OH, MY GOD.  Jake as Colin Sullivan.  That's IT.  Imagine that - Jake can totally pull off Irish.  And again, Jake would have had all the subtlety of a slightly conflicted corrupt cop.

My heart bleeds for what could have been...

It's still entirely worth seeing for Mark Wahlberg's habitual scene stealing.  He literally steals the scenes he's in from every other actor in the movie, including Jack Nicholson.  How nice it is when your low expectations are vastly exceeded.  Much nicer than when your exceedlingly high ones are shattered.
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Offline littleguitar

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Re: Casting Mistakes/Blunders - The Departed - A Case Study
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2006, 10:53:11 pm »
Jake and Heath would have been very interesting choices... but, then again, I'd like to see them in every movie ever filmed  ;)

I agree with you on Matt Damon. I like him, but I tend to see him as Matt Damon and not as whatever character he's playing because of exactly what you said. His role in this movie was his role in the Bourne movies was his role in Oceans 11 etc...

But, i had the exact opposite reaction to Leo. I was absolutely riveted each time he was on screen and wished that more time had been spent on his character. I see what you mean about not buying him as the gangster/undercover gangster but I think that's exactly why I liked him, because I wasn't looking at that, i completley bought his disintegration and obsession and what living this life as an undercover was doing to him. I thought particularly his scenes with the psychiatrist were incredible. I thought that this was finally at least an oscar nomination for him.

having said that, your right that mark wahlberg completley stole every single scene he was in. He was brilliant!
‘cause the truth is, I already give him everythin’ I got to give, more than I ever even knew I had; ‘n it all for him, all of it, him who is my brother, my father, my child, my friend, my lover, my heart, my soul; my Ennis.

-- del Mar Painting, Ch. 48 by b73

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Casting Mistakes/Blunders - The Departed - A Case Study
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006, 10:54:09 am »
I agree that Leo's scenes with the psychologist were exquisite.  I totally wanted to see more of them together - their chemistry was excellent, and I found her reaction at the end of the movie and her treatment of Matt Damon's character spot-on true and believable.

Maybe that's the problem - more time wasn't spent on his character.  Like you, I found that character fascinating.  I think Marty could have nixed a couple of Jack's scenes (without them) and spent that time instead on Billy Costigan.  That's why I so clearly see Heath in that role - he can make a lot out of a little, too, like he did in Monster's Ball.  I actually think Leo's a very good actor - I just didn't quite see enough of that character one way or another, I think.

What about other casting mistakes or blunders we've all scratched our heads at?

I know there have been times my husband and I have gone on and on about how *anyone* would have been better than XYZ in a given role.  And yet none of those spring to mind at the moment.

Ooh - I've got one.  Richard Gere in "Chicago."  Ed and I both thought that Bruce Willis would have run circles around what he did in that movie.  Bruce Willis can sing and dance, too - if you're a fan of the old "Moonlighting" episodes, that one that was a takeoff of "The Taming of the Shrew" comes to mind.  And he has about a million times more sardonic wit than Gere.

Any others?
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