Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Whistleblower: Movie Review


Uncovering corruption by breaking one law at a time.

Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) is “The Whistleblower.” Exposing the corruption in the U.N., and international and local Bosnian police corps when she uncovers human trafficking of teenage girls. A peace-keeping American police officer sent to Bosnia after the war, she takes her job of “investigating crimes and reporting wrong-doing” seriously. What her job actually is, isn’t very clear.2010

Directed by: Larysa Kondracki

Screenplay by: Larysa Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan

Starring: Rachel Weisz

For as much chaos that is occurring during this time, the film takes a very clerical approach. One scene establishing the crimes being inflicted on these young girls, one scene establishing that Kathy is the mother of a teenage daughter, and one scene establishing that she needs money to be able to move closer to her ex-husband and children. And then ta-da, she’s in Bosnia making lots of money as the head of a department on gender equality. I don’t mean to imply that that’s a good thing for her, just that Hollywood has a way of making every story neat and tidy — too neat and tidy.

This is a tough story because what is occurring to these girls is too graphic and upsetting to tell or to make a movie out of. The smart move was making this movie about Kathy and less about the girls. We don’t get emotionally invested until Kathy has formed a connection with one of the girls, and by then we already know what is happening to them.

The plot description that this is a political thriller with “private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk” makes it sound it’s a nonsense plot with lots of characters and twists just to make sure that you realize that it is smarter than you are. Thankfully, it’s not that bad. There are too many characters, but what is going on and what Kathy needs to get done are very straight-forward.

I just don’t really understand the need to have Kathryn not even understand that there is going to be protocol that should be followed at times. Surely there is a way to uncover illegal corruption without committing so many laws yourself? I believe there is a way, but to Hollywood it would just be too boring. So “The Whistleblower” is made to be just as exciting as the crimes are horrific, which can leave you a little detached from reality.