14 April 2012

Movies: The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0896872/

Drama Thriller

A cop from Nebraska takes on a contract peacekeeping job with the U.N. in post-war Bosnia. While there she stumbles upon a human trafficking ring, specifically one that enslaves women for prostitution. As she investigates she finds that not only are local police involved, but U.N. peacekeeping personnel as well.
Based on a real person and true events. The repercussions of the scandal are still being dealt with to this day. Just recently legislation was introduced to Congress to prevent human trafficking in government contracting.

Stars Rachel Weisz as Kathryn Bolkovac. Yes, Weisz is British and is portraying a Nebraskan. Lucky for us viewers Weisz is a very capable actress and delivers a great performance. A great supporting cast too including Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci, David Strathairn to name a few. Apparently Benedict Cumberbatch was in the film. I saw his name in the credits up front, figured I'd spot him right away, then got to the end of the film and didn't remember seeing him. Kind of kickin myself for that. First off, Cumberbatch is a cool name. Secondly he's Sherlock Holmes in the awesome BBC series. I suspect I missed him because he's sortof like Karl Urban where you can see him in a bunch of films and then only later realize who it is because he's so good at playing his characters. Next time I watch the film I'll be more vigilant. Promise.

What I liked about the film, beyond it being based on real events and such, was the thriller aspect of the film. The tension and suspense continues to build as Kathryn Bolkovac continues to investigate and realizes just how many U.N. peacekeepers and even fellow contractors are actually involved she becomes more isolated and distrustful of everyone around her.

I'm sure there's amalgams of characters, fictionalized dialog and such. Pretty much any film that isn't a documentary is going to be. The point isn't detailed point-by-point factual history but getting across what is really happening and what Bolkovac went through to expose the problem.  The DVD includes an interview with the real Kathryn Bolkovac, and there's plenty of press to read about it as well to get the story.

As a film, good drama thriller. As a means of getting more people aware of the sex trafficking problem, rather effective as well. Worth watching as a heavy drama movie-night film.

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By the way, I actually watched this film a few weeks ago, I just realized I had forgotten to write about it. So if this review seems a little sparse it's because of the gap between watching and writing.

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