The Informant: Dishy Deadpan Humor

Steven Soderbergh does it again and shows the depravity of our times with The Informant. Inspired by a real life incident in the 90s and adapted from Kurt Eichenwald’s book, the movie spins around then VP of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Mark Whitacre, who became the highest level whistleblower in US history, leading to the prosecution of the top brass of the firm, for international price-fixing.

Back in 1992, Whitacre (Matt Damon) lived in Decatur, Illinois, with his wife and kids, working as a biochemist for ADM, a firm that manufactured lysine, a corn derivative. It all began when Mark let it slip to his employers about a mole in the organisation, working for their Japanese competitors, who not only knew how a bug got into the lysine production, but also about the losses the firm made that year. Instead of taking care of it internally, the bosses decide to rope in the FBI, with Mark’s co-operation in having his phone line tapped.

However, new things come to light and the FBI has Mark wearing a wire to work, taping conferences around the world, and gathering evidence of what ADM is upto. But when the bosses are indicted, further investigations reveal loopholes in Mark’s theories, forcing the FBI to investigate the whistleblower himself.

After critically acclaimed movies Erin Brockovich, Che and The Girlfriend Experience, Soderbergh manages to pull off yet another whistleblower story, and with deadpan hilarity. Interestingly, The Informant is as subtle as it is blatant and makes for an enjoyable viewing.

Matt Damon as Mark whitacre is brilliant. Porking upto 30 pounds, he is in his element as the delusional biochemist mouthing lines like, “I’m the good guy in all of this”. Hoodwinking the FBI, his bosses, his wife and at times himself, he is just too good.

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