Jmac90's Blog

The Insider Review

Posted in Uncategorized by jmac90 on May 5, 2010

The Insider was an exciting and incredibly entertaining picture. It begins with a charismatic character Lowell Bergman, played by Al Pacino, putting his own life in danger to perform an interview with a dangerous leader. He then links up with Jeffrey Wigand, played by Russell Crow, and formulates a plan to expose the tobacco industry. I appreciate this gesture because I am a smoker myself and would love to see this organization fall. Unfortunately, Bergman and Wigand experience a vast amount of adversity by the industry as well as CBS.

Wigand is a very frantic character that we connect with through his natural behavior. Initially, he does not want to take the risk and go through with this operation, but Bergman is persistent in convincing him to take a shot. Bergman is the investigatory journalist who uses Wigand as a tool to bring down the “bad guys.” He believes that Wigand is the only solution to solving this problem of corruption. We are put into the shoes of Wigand to solve a moral dilemma. Should he keep his mouth shut and let Americans die under the hands of the tobacco industry, or should he tell the truth about how the industry is making cigarettes more addictive but risk going to jail? I really admire how Michael Mann draws the audience into the movie and lets you decide what is right and wrong.

After a moment of suspense, Wigand decides to go through with it and give 60 minutes an interview. This is thwarted by CBS and their decision to not view it. Bergman fights their decision and ends up winning. He doesn’t win all the way through though, because he ends up leaving CBS in the end.

I really felt that the movie was based on Wigand himself or the audience for that matter. He portrays a great amount of courage by putting his life on the line. He experiences many conflicts throughout the film and we are supposed to identify with all of his emotions. We can relate to Bergman’s ambitiousness but that’s about it. He is pretty much a “one-way” character that displays his anger and energy through his actions. The problem here is power and who has it. The tobacco companies have a larger status than Bergman and Wigand but they have the key to unlocking their secrets through journalism and the power to reach people. I was upset that Wigand disappeared half way through the film; bad move.

Visually, the movie was wonderful. It was truly realistic and made me feel like I was part of the movie. The camera angles as well as the structure of dialogue provided us with a raw depiction. It also helps that this movie is based on a true story because I usually like to see how accurately it correlates to the real life events that it is based on. I enjoyed the handheld camera scenes as well as the use of lighting. The film looked blue for some reason, but it added to it’s own unique style.

The acting was on point of course, we are dealing with Pacino and Crowe after all! They had a wonderful relationship on-screen and filled in for each-others missing qualities. It was the magnificent balance between the main characters that made it feel fluent and realistic. The fact that entertainment and suspense was boosted by phone calls rather than non-stop action, shows that a movie can be entertaining and adrenaline filled without the use of constant explosions.

My favorite scene is when Bergman is on the beach trying to reach Wigand at the hotel. At this point we see Wigand with a blank stare on his face ignoring the hotel attendant. He is depressed and overwhelmed with the events in his life. The room begins to contort and Wigand experiences hallucinations of his family. This scene exemplifies the predicament that Wigand is in and how badly it is affecting him. He does not want to lose his family but yet he wants to keep his pride and do the right thing.

The Insider was filled with a great story line and had the intense situations and acting to back it up. I’m a big fan of Pacino and Crowe but never came across this movie until now. I am happy that I seen it and that I enjoyed it so much. It was captivating through its visuals as well as the soundtrack that played throughout the film.They should make more movies that are similar to this in that it was truly realistic and not far-fetched. It was a great movie and I give it 4 stars.


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