Jul 2, 2011

The Insider, 1999

The Insider, 1999
Director: Michael Mann
Cast: Russel Crowe, Al Pacino, Cristopher Plummer

Stage: home theatre, late Saturday selection

The Insider in short: Balls-out "60 Minutes" producer Lowell Bergman sniffs a story when a former research biologist for Brown & Williamson, Jeff Wigand, won't talk to him. When the company leans hard on Wigand to honor a confidentiality agreement, he gets his back up. Trusting Bergman and despite a crumbling marriage, he goes on camera for a Mike Wallace interview and risks arrest for contempt of court. Westinghouse is negotiating to buy CBS, so CBS attorneys advise CBS News to shelve the interview and avoid a lawsuit. "60 Minutes" and CBS News bosses cave, Wigand's hung out to dry, Bergman is compromised, and the CEOs of Big Tobacco may get away with perjury. Can the truth will out?

Preps: None but the great cast I need urgently to see put together. This is the optimal case study to do that perticular job.

Reality: The choice between serve to the things you believe in and be loyal to the needs of your existing family, is always severe and a matter of many movies made so far. In this perticular case, similar as in for instance Erin Brockovich with brilliant Julia Roberts, we have a case of a tobacco company and a big law suit coming up against them, as a prize for live interview with the insider.
Crowe, as a family man, is submerged to great pressure; onesides from the journalist (Al Pacino)and a subconscious feeling to go for it, change the world and make it a better place to live in. On the other side, he is stressed by the care for his own family, which is submerged to threats, luring, exposure on public places, etc - with a good chance to get killed or at least injured in the process. There are millions behind each of these stories, this one is no exception, it is put together very realistic and the way people really behave - at least I buy it.
It's a good drama, making you think about your own philosophical view on this matter. Would you go for it? Nothing is certain. There isn't a lot of money here at stake for the family that is a subject of misbehaviour of the public in an instant.

The question is, is the feeling that you have done something for the human race or nature, good enough to support this type of decision? Where is moral and where ethics in this case and up to which should you submerge as an individual? The choices, made in this movie, aren't really obvious and the director puts you on the hot spot until the very end. A good representation of bigger companies that take laws in their hands and make happen whatever it is that serves to their income and less to public.

My personal rate: 7,0 (strong and valid piece that will rock your ethical views and standards).

The Insider on IMDB

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