Monday, November 9, 2009

The Informant!

This is one guy who does not think things through. This movie occurs around 1993 to 1995. The center of this storm is a fictional company on par with DuPont. They make food chemicals and flavoring. They are instrumental in the prices of food world wide. Too bad they have a Vice President with a chemistry background who is bipolar.

Matt Damon is the main character. He is Mark Whitacre who has made it in the corporate world. He has marched up many steps and accomplished a great deal. But he has a psychosis that leads him astray. He begins informing the FBI that his company is manipulating prices of foods in an illegal way. He begins to fabricate information that his company is price rigging their products. He sets up meetings with foreign competition and tries to implicate them in the manner of collusion. He is totally in the realm of delusions of granduer. He does this believing he is rooting out the vernom when in reality he is the one setting everyone up.

Now, there is some bribery going on that he is not the only one a party of. Him and several executives at the company accept bribes from vendors and potential customers. Mark has accepted over $7 million in bribes and rather than just quit his job, move away, retire, get out of potential danger, he weaves his own web which implicates him. He was hoping to be a witness in a huge white collar maelstrom but he was the main ring leader. Soon, he can not be the informant he was aiming to me, he is a defendant.

Mark is under some fictional cloud that he will surf through this conspiracy unscathed. This is not true, even if he was a proper informant the Board of Directors is not going to hand the reigns of the company over to a rat. This is what he is hoping. He tells the FBI that his parents have been killed when he was just a child and that is an orphan with a rich father. His prior research indicated that people give more leeway and sympathy to someone who was an orphan. He has been lying for years, apparently he did earn his degree(s) and did some fine work in the research and development division. He was promoted many times and did learn the business side of the company. His company did elevate him to VP. How did this happen? No one knows.

Mark's diabolical scheme blows up in his face. His wife believed him, that is even more bizaare. Mark is sentenced to 9 years in prison where he claims to have a piece of mind. He says his sleep at night is quite pleasant. He earns his law degree and educates himself even further in the area of bipolar disorders. After he is finally released, 6 years after a couple of his former executives who were rung up on bribery charges, he informs Federal prosecutors that he actually embezzled over $11 million. He told them before on record it was about $9 million. But there is not much else they can do, he served his time. So he does have some money to fall back on. It is sitting in a Swiss account or some bank in the Caribean.

This movie was clever. I did not know the extent of his tails. I did know he would not be able to work at his company after turning traitorous on them.

Shawshank Redemption's Clancy Brown is Aubrey Daniel who is one of the company's lawyers. He is one of them who has a fine laugh when they realize Mark was lying. When Mark is lying, they have the proof in some papers he forged. Clancy's role in this movie was humorous, not at all sinister like it was in that unforgettable 1994 Stephen King story/movie.

This movie did not have any special music. It was nothing on George Clooney's Michael Clayton for instance. But it was original and shrewdly woven.

I allocate this movie three stars.***

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