Sunday, April 11, 2010

Movie Log: The Informant!

I'm running horribly behind on writing about movies I've seen once again, which means The Informant! is going to get short shrift. It's a sneaky, fun movie that plays with the conventions of the whistleblower genre, but I saw it a couple of weeks ago, and my memory of the details of its sneakiness are not as clear as they should be.

Matt Damon is the core of this movie, as the pudgy, endlessly optimistic and self-mythologizing Archer Daniels Midland executive Mark Whitacre, who starts an FBI investigation into his company because...well, that's the real question, isn't it? Whitacre turns out to be vastly more complex than he seems to be at first, and little hints near the beginning of the movie turn into vast mechanisms towards the end.

Damon as Whitacre narrates the movie, in a voice that's endlessly running off on tangents -- it's not a confused voice, not at all, but it's definitely a voice that follows lines of logic that don't occur, or make sense, to anyone else. The Informant! is Damon's movie from beginning to end -- he's enthralling to watch, as this goofball mid-'90s agribusinessman who never tells the whole truth about anything, even to himself. Everybody else in The Informant! is fine, but they're all supporting characters -- all of the real drama here is in Mark Whitacre's head and in his dialogue.
Listening to: Steely Dan - Kid Charlemagne
via FoxyTunes

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