Every once in a while a movie comes along that brings something to my life, my point of view, my perspective on the world, that transcends “entertainment”. The Whistleblower is one of those gems. There are aspects of being human, among billions of other humans that are almost unimaginably horrific. Before I get dark and grimy, I’ll say there are lots of wonderful, generous, friendly, kind, thoughtful, caring, compassionate people knocking around the planet. Acknowledged. Now, on to the other people who make me want to grind my teeth, and theirs.
The Whistleblower highlights one of the scummiest things people can do to each other. Sex for money isn’t new. Sex for money when the choice is made by everyone involved to participate isn’t lovely but it’s still a choice. Buying and selling human beings, women and children, for the purpose of forcing them to be fucked by greasy sleazy MEN is beyond vile. The essence of this growing money making evil is that MEN want to get a hard on, have an ejaculation, abuse another human being and then throw them away. If you think it’s any thing other than that you are either an idiot, delusional, or one of THEM.
It’s an infuriating, incredibly depressing subject, and yet this film elevates it to more than a cause. It’s an attack on freedom, life, liberty, choice, living a fulfilling satisfying life or at least getting that right that everyone should have. The direction is delicate but at times up close with that hand held feel to keep us in the mind of the lead character. A woman who transfers to a foreign land surrounded by corruption, greed, filth, MEN wallowing in self indulgence and want. She is driven to do the right thing and finds a brick wall at every step. It’s based on a true true story.
The performances are the same, delicate, hard core and solid. There is not one moment when any of the actors seems like an actor. It’s a quality international cast that cross every layer of this grotesque world. There is a Herzoeovinian mother, played beautifully as she struggles with having her teenage daughter go missing. There are soldiers of all kinds. horribly horrible, noble, creepy, and respectable. There are upper management people, some cold and robotic, some who want to crack the system and make things right. The teenage girls are the real stars of this show though. Even Rachel Weisz, who is amazing, is out shined by these fantastic young performers. They handle their roles with the exact right amount of liveliness and horror and depth. I wanted to protect them and painfully murder the assholes who do such unspeakable things to them….all in the name of debauchery and cash. Ugh…this is a real thing people, men buying young women to abuse and sexually violate, all while creating a culture of giving no value to their lives other than dollars and cum. Yes, it’s ugly and uncomfortable. All this unpleasantness is still presented in a way that is captivating and full of tension, the right balance to make it at least palatable enough to get the point across.
- Kathy Bolkovac: The Real Whistleblower – A 5 minute behind the scenes with a really short interview with the real lady of this story. Such a missed opportunity in terms of extras on this disc.
Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
I wouldn’t want this cover to outshine the content of the movie. It’s fine if not a bit of a lost opportunity. I would like to see something more specific, but it’s fine as it is. The menu is the same, functional. That’s fine with me for this movie.
Audio & Video: 7/10 (By Ascully)
The Whistleblower is actually quite an ugly film. This is not a bad thing as the story is also ugly and the images portrayed really amplify the fact. Director of photography Kieren McGuigan has given the film an intentional grain that permeates the entire frame. One of the hardest things for encoders is to preserve grain but FOX have kept the grain and not touched the film with the dreaded DNR. If I had to complain about anything here it’s a very strong crush in the black areas of the image. I actually feel it might be intentional but on occasion (very dark corridor shots) you do end up looking at mostly nothing.
Audio comes courtesy of FOX’s lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix. This is quite a talky movie so there is nothing here that will blow you away but the dialog is centered and clear for the most part. When I say for the most part there are several areas where I couldn’t tell what was being said, again it could have been intentional but worth of note anyway.
I really enjoy dark true stories like The Whistleblower. Well, enjoy is probably not the right word, but if you like something that will challenge you to think about things happening right under your nose that you might not be aware of otherwise, take a look at this film. I think you will be suitably educated.
There is nothing about this movie on Blu-Ray that should speak louder than the topic and the movie itself. So, if you find it for 20 or less it’s a valuable purchase. It’s a film to watch with a select few people. It’s worth the long conversation afterwards that will most definitely happen.
Overall Score 9/10