Saturday, October 22, 2011
#222: The Whistleblower
MAMI 2011 Review Series: To read the first one click here.
Director: Larysa Kondracki
Gist: A movie based on a true account of UN Peacekeeping officer Kathryn Bolkovac's (Rachel Weisz) tenure in Bosnia that led her to unearthing a sex-trafficking racket.
Script: A promising debut by Larysa Kondracki and Ellis Karwan who write the screenplay. Considering the fact that the writers didn't have a book to go by ( the script was ready by 2005, a final book was published in 2011) and had to rely on their interactions with real-life Kathryn, it is a commendable effort. A glitch is the personal side of the protagonist that somewhere in between the movie slips into oblivion. Some finishing touches there and we would have had a work of art like The Insider.
Acting: An outstanding performance by Rachel Weisz with a role that allows her to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. Weisz enhances her already creditable reputation as an actress with a role that has her in police uniform through and through- not glamorous but very gritty. David Straitharn's cameo (Good Night and Good Luck) was the only other memorable performance in the movie and that's not because the others weren't good but because there wasn't a very clear antagonist standing up to Rachel Weisz. Its that whole system versus the individual bit and understandably its the individual's story that makes the connect with you.
Filmmaking craft: The filmmakers adopt a conventional storytelling approach and hold your attention. It has a predictable curve of events that keep coming at you but the execution is laced with bits of suspense that makes it all fairly gripping.
Piece de resistance moments: The climax- a luscious cherry on the cake of a good movie until then was about average. Its the kind of ending that lifts the movie by more than just a couple of notches.
In a nutshell: Watch it for Rachel's superb performance and the glittering ending.