Saturday, September 19, 2009

"The Informant!" (2009) - Movie Review

You do not know what to make where Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant!” goes about. Is it trying to make the whistleblower Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) a hero, a buffoon or an unusual biochemist with a conscience? In Decatur Illinois at the wake of the 90s, Whitacre as the Vice President of Bio Products in Archer Daniels Midland is having a good life. With loving wife Ginger (Melanie Lynskey) and three kids. Whitacre is advancing in the company too but something is bothering him and Ginger. There is a price fixing deal going in the market of selling Lysine and ADM meets up with its competitors to do the deeds best. But there is more to Mark Whitacre than a whistleblower and good Samaritan.

Soderbergh adopts the style of the oldish seventies presentation with the yellow titles and the maple brown tint the alma mater of the era of cheesed up movies. The man in the picture Matt Damon does may be the unusual characters he has done previously. He has been a handsome young man quick and organized in the people he chose to play in the films. Here the mere appearance is disheveled. He is a mustache which should not be there, not like that, a wig which we suspect is something wrong but only come to conclusion on the case in the end and the mouth of his going uncontrollably unpredictable and slimy in the naive talks.

Mark Whitacre as we see him checking the numbers and telling his thoughts and questions to us is a smart man. He has been the geek behind the glasses and now he is onboard with the big guns in the business league. The problem with the white collar cube residents is that the distant in the dark happens the shady work which makes them to comfortably work without guilt. That has become the prime reason of the middle class increase in the financial status. The middle class has been redefined both in financials and conscience. Whitacre was in the wake of it.

Soderbergh enjoys the process of letting the audience in the story. As Whitacre begins to cooperate with the FBI agents Brian Shepard (Scott Bakula) and Bob Herndon (Joel McHale), he initially sweats the details as the good man. He is a little hesitant to come forward and his wife Ginger literally makes him, he then begins to hide and avoid them. Soon we realize the first made up story of him which of course becomes insignificant as the price fixing deal is real. Or is it? As the story of this crumbles in the way one cannot even fathom to foresee, the instinct of this man is complex. He spaces out in the middle of the conversation and thinks the random questions and the weirdness in the world. He has visited so many countries and known many languages and met many people, the information gets processed in the brains of his. He is constantly journeying into that gathered room of facts and coincidences when the real life in front of him takes a path with no destination.

This is a slow builder when the main story hits the screen. Soon Whitacre forms a trusting friendship with Agent Shepard and Herndon. When they finally get the ultimate evidence to nail the ADM officials, the attorney office asks them what is the agenda of Whitacre in this scheme and both the agents present a family picture of Whitacre they carry around to remind them of the person who is helping the job to be completed. The story of “The Informant!” leaves anyone bewildered on seeing this man ramping up the mind of his to produce lies, truth and what not. That is both sad and funny.

Matt Damon while has done many other roles which have been substantial and exemplified, this might be his best performance of all. He portrays a tough and multifaceted persona who we are amused, appreciated and hate him too. He has so much in his mind that he is not ready to give everything all at once. He disperses at his will and the situation he is in. In between those he manifests some of his own. Not that he wants to show he is smart and capable but to escape the current predicament or more precisely to post pone it. But what he does not realize that he makes it worse as the time goes on. And with a supportive role by Melanie Lynskey as his loyal and lovable wife Ginger and a friend in the Agent form Scott Bakula, Matt Damon dazzles the audience with a complete intertwined character. And Steven Soderbergh gives the same kind of characteristic to the film which has his eye for uniqueness.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I am a big fan of Matt Damon and I look forward to seeing the movie.