Films | The Whistleblower – Movie Review

The Whistleblower – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on October 21, 2011 | No Comments

FILM – The Whistleblower
PRODUCER – Christina Piovesan, Celine Rattray, Amy Kaufman
DIRECTOR – Larysa Kondracki
WRITER – Larysa Kondracki, Eilis Kirwan
CAST – Rachel Weisz, Monica Bellucci and Vanessa Redgrave
MUSIC – Mychael Danna

As humans we have an equal amount of tendency for good and bad. And an equal amount of choice.

As our race has evolved, we have seen the gap between this polarity widening. We no longer blink before committing inhuman acts of crime neither do we flinch before justifying every act of cruelty. Covering up our lies, individual or collective, under the dominating sheets of power comes easy to us. So easy, it has become a rule rather than exception.

In ‘The Whistleblower’, Kathryn Bolkovac chooses to single-handedly fight against this corruption. Based on true events, the film shows the journey of Kathryn, a Nebraska cop who joins US monitoring forces in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina. She stumbles upon a human trafficking and sex scandal which upon investigation turns out to be a huge money spinning mafia involving the US military officials, UN officials, personnel from private security organizations and other international agencies. The UN chooses to suppress it and removes Kathy from her job. Supported by Madeleine Rees (Vanessa Redgrave), Kathy goes public.

As dramatic as it sounds, this happened. And as the film states, continues. It documents Kathy’s fight from start to finish with taut drama and moderate emphasis on emotion. It is a realistic portrayal of gruesome reality and does nothing to tantalize the drama or titillate by twisting presentation. It is a serious crime it speaks of, and chooses to speak seriously and simply.

There are no diatribes or rhetoric either which keep the film even. The events are presented as a thriller, with shaky camera, sharp lighting contrasts and swift inter-cutting. Largely shot in Romania, it stays true to the European filmoscape with grainy visual texture and desaturated colours. The visual landscape it presents sets the grimy and intense mood of the film with easy assurance.

But probably what presents the earthy tone to the film is the performance of Rachel Weisz as Kathryn. She invests a restraint and gravity into her role that brings alive the horror of inhumanity and injustice surrounding her. She is no tough cop nor a passionate crusader. She is a simple woman who simply likes to ensure justice is being done.

The film spares no one, not the US, UN, Govt or private organizations. Neither does it deify its principal character. It presents facts with a certain documentary-like objectivity and mixes suspense with its technique but with distinct compassion. It is a brave film to make and with its graphic violence, a brave one to watch too. If only it was fantasy and not fact.


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