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There's a campaign to erase that filthy rat from The Departed's ending

Photo: Shirlaine Forrest (Getty Images)

In the final moments of The Departed, Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime film about informants on opposite sides of the law, a rat appears. This rat is fine. It scampers across a windowsill before credits roll as a bit of goofy, on-the-wriggling-pink-nose evocation of the movie’s human “rats.” For 13 years we have all been okay with this directorial decision because, honestly, it’s as loud and brash as the rest of the movie and really doesn’t take anything away from it.

Adam Sacks, however, is strongly opposed. So opposed is he that he created a Kickstarter campaign to erase the rat from the film. For $4,000, Sacks hopes to stamp out the little bit of vermin from a movie he adores, giving everyone who agrees with him a chance to enjoy The Departed without being subjected to the on-the-nose metaphor of this fuzzy little interloper.


The funding goal wasn’t pulled out of thin air; Sacks has meticulously accounted for each cent, planning for everything from the “$18.91 to buy a Blu-ray of The Departed” to the “$38.31" he requires “to buy a 50-pack of blank Blu-ray discs, and $2.71 to buy a black Sharpie marker so that I can burn 50 Blu-ray copies of my improved version of The Departed and properly label them.”

Allow Sacks to explain all of this for you in full:

It’s important to note that Sacks, being a law-abiding citizen who makes clear he does “not own the rights to the movie,” can only provide his finished, rat-free cut to 50 people who pledge $70 or more to his noble cause. “This will allow me to buy you a legal Blu-ray of The Departed, throw that disc away, replace it with my superior version, and mail it to you,” the Kickstarter page explains.

Despite the joking tone of the campaign’s copy, Sacks’ work is deadly serious. It shows that nothing—not even a celebrated movie that came out more than a decade ago—is sacrosanct in a world full of accessible video editing software and hilariously insistent movie opinions.


Some think this whole thing speaks to something larger ...


Others, though, actually like the rat.


Sacks, though, is a man of the people. At the time of writing, the Kickstarter has drummed up $2, 701.96 of its $4,000 goal. That’s a pricey extermination and it wouldn’t be funded if there wasn’t a sizable population out there who, despite any arguments to the contrary, just want that rat gone. What a world we live in that’s capable of giving that to them.

[via IndieWire]

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.