Legitimacy and Finality
The Departed most certainly ended abruptly with the assessment of the writer of the article being correct, “better would be a final reconciliation of the thoughts and attitudes of the characters”. With only Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, and Vera Farmiga’s characters left; it is Farmiga’s relationship with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon that is never reconciled to the audience. Although the author of this article uses much hyperbole to explain the characters and the plot of the story. He does stumble on to what seems to be an underlying theme of the movie and that is legitimacy. All characters both the seemingly genuine and the corrupt are searching for legitimacy in the city of Boston and family ties, both mob ties and actual family connections are seemingly lost at the funeral of DiCaprio’s character Billy Costigan and after the murder of Damon’s character Colin Sullivan. The author writes, “Billy Costigan (DiCaprio)…a rich kid who rejected his corrupt Boston Brahmin family for the questionable legitimacy of the city’s Southie culture”.
Sullivan grew up without a father and was raised and primed to be a major player in Jack Nicholson’s mafia. Questions are raised about the impotency of Nicholson’s character Frank Costello by Sullivan, who feels used and realizes that Costello will have no legitimate heir after his death. As well, Farmiga’s character makes a reference to Sullivan’s problems with their sexual relationship and she also has an affair with Costigan. Costigan seems to be the legitimate character in the film with his abandonment of his corrupt family on his mother’s side and his acceptance of his poor, yet hard-working father. When the movie ends and it known that Farmiga’s character is pregnant, the audience is left to wonder if the child belongs to Costigan or Sulivan, though both are dead. However, the child would be either a legitimate heir of the city if Costigan’s or would represent the corrupt side of Boston if Sullivan’s. Therefore, the author is correct that the film ends too abruptly and brushes over only briefly about legitimacy when writing about DiCaprio’s character, but fails to show legitimacy as a major theme in the film.