Officially, at least. Although anyone in Shanghai who wanted to see The Departed already has seen it on a pretty high-quality DVD, news outlets are reporting that the movie will never be shown in China’s theaters. Here are the reasons according to one anonymous government source:
“There is no chance The Departed will be shown in mainland cinemas because the US side declined to change a plot line describing how Beijing wanted to buy advanced military computer hardware,” said one source.
“That part of the plot is definitely unnecessary,” added the source, who asked not to be identified as he does not have permission to speak to the foreign media.
“The regulators just cannot understand why the movie wanted to involve China. They can talk about Iran or Iraq or whatever, but there’s no reason to get China in,” added the source, who is close to the country’s movie regulator.
Here’s more from E! Online:
The scene in question involves Nicholson’s gangland boss, Frank Costello, and his henchmen, among them DiCaprio’s Billy Costigan (aka The Rat). They meet in a Boston warehouse with a group of gun-toting secret agents working for Chinese authorities who hand over a suitcase full of cash in exchange for advanced computer chip technology.
OK, so you are going to ban The Departed from Chinese theaters. Whatever. No one can stop you. Why not come up with some better reasons? They may not be truthful, but at least you’ll be masking your paranoid inferiority complex from the rest of the outside (and obviously anti-China) world. Here are some options:
- We are banning The Departed from China because we thought Jack Nicholson’s attempt at a Boston accent was laughable.
- We are banning The Departed from China because it makes America look like a corrupt place run by criminal networks. As an ally, China couldn’t support this notion.
- We are banning The Departed from China because we don’t stand for pap Hollywood endings.
- We are banning The Departed from China because Scorsese totally did away the character played by Elva Xiao in the original. Doing so made us question what, if any, value she added to Infernal Affairs. This made us uncomfortable, because we are huge fans of Elva Xiao.
- We are banning The Departed from China because of that final shot, the one that focused on the rat scurrying on the ledge outside. Complete shite.
Note to censors: If you must ban The Departed, it’s only fair that you re-release Infernal Affairs on the big screen. It’s the right thing to do (and we haven’t seen it in the theater yet).