Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Informant!

Even though it clocks in at under two hours, The Informant! does have a tendency to drag a bit. Based on a true story, a title card at the beginning discloses that some characters are composites and dialogue dramatized.

So there.

The film about a pathological liar played with great gusto by Matt Damon is at its best when it explores the inane and utterly delusional inner dialogue of its subject.

My favorite part of the movie was one such tangential Whitacre voiceover:

"When polar bears hunt, they crouch down by a hole in the ice and wait for a seal to pop up. They keep one paw over their nose so that they blend in. Cuz’ they’ve got those black noses. They’d blend in perfectly if not for the nose...

So the question is. How do they know their noses are black? From looking at other polar bears? Do they see their reflections in the water? And think, “I’d be invisible if not for that.” That seems like a lot of thinking for a bear."

Damon is absolutely fantastic as Mark Whitacre, an ethically-challenged corporate whistle-blower. According to the synopsis at IMDB, Whitacre's participation in the FBI sting operation combined with having bipolar disorder led to a complete meltdown. Unfortunately, this unraveling was not examined with any depth in the film--although Whitacre's actions become increasingly erratic, it plays more like he's merely struggling to keep all the balls he's juggling in the air.

It would have also aided the story had Soderbergh and company let the truth unravel over the course of the film. It's pretty obvious early on that Whitacre isn't the "guy in the white hat" he purports to be. But kudos to Damon for creating a character so tragically comic, likeably loathsome and such a brilliant buffoon. The movie's not an Oscar contender, but Damon's performance most definitely is.

1 comment:

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