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Friday, March 26, 2010

DVD Review: "The Informant!"

"Paranoid is what they call you when they want you to drop your guard."
Matt Damon stars as Mark Whitacre was a straight-laced businessman in small town Illinois when he felt compelled to work together with the FBI to take down his employer on a price-fixed conspiracy case in The Informant!. He thought he was perfectly weaving together the details of each player in the scheme until he slipped up and became the lead character in his own story. Before he knew it, and it became harder to keep track of his own versions of his tale, which was becoming further and further believable as he dragged more and more people--lawyers, media, and even his own wife-- deeper into it. This all proved one thing--Whitacre couldn't keep his mouth shut, in front of anyone for any reason. He just didn't know when to turn it all off. He manages to alienate all those around him who now see him as his own potential threat. Only then does he realize that his heroic plan to turn on his company, only wound up with everyone turning their back on him.
Damon is excellent as the defenseless, and somewhat frazzled, Whitacre whose efforts to take down the system only backfired in his face. The movie is deemed a "dark comedy" probably mostly for the amusing portrayal of Damon in the real-life persona, but it could have easily, and perhaps more effectively, worked as a drama given the depth of Damon's character. Entertaining, and, yes, dark at times, The Informant! serves an interesting story about a very complex man.

Reel Talk: B+

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