Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Informant!: Movie Review

The Informant!: Movie Review

Rating: 7/10
Cast: Matt Damon, Melanie Lynskey, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale
Director: Steven Soderbergh
The Informant! is the tale of Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) a rising executive at the American agricultural firm during the 1990s.
Despite doing well within the company, Whitacre ends up blowing the whistle to an FBI agent (Scott Bakula) about apparent price fixing within the market instigated by the very people he works with.
However, as the FBI dig deeper into what's going on, Whitacre reveals more about the company's involvement with lysine, an additive used in the commercial livestock industry.
And the closer the FBI get to nabbing those responsible, the more bizarre turns the investigation takes thanks to the increasingly erratic behaviour of Whitacre himself.
The Informant! is a curious new film from Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh.
Based on an apparently true story, there's a feeling of growing incredulity the longer the film goes on. Matt Damon's Whitacre is clearly a conflicted and bipolar character, whose tormented inner monologue at key moments see him ruminate on the minutiae of life - one side comment sees him wondering how polar bears learnt to cover their black noses when hunting given they had no concept of black and white.
It's a dark comedy that Soderbergh's created in places - but with tremendously solid performances from the likes of Damon and Taranaki's very own Melanie Lynskey (who plays Whitacre's long suffering wife), you're never quite 100% sure where to laugh - or even if you should.
As the film nears its conclusion, there's more than just a little element of screwball appearing in it as Whitacre's world begins to unravel.

Blessed with a brilliant bossanova 70s style soundtrack, The Informant! is an odd treat with unexpected and unbelievable moments. Granted there will be those who feel the film is trying a little too hard to be quirky and aiming for an insane zaniness; however, at the film's conclusion, you'll be hard pressed to have anything but an unusual admiration for Whitacre and how he led the entire FBI on a wild dance.

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