Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The Whistleblower

Leonard Maltin By Leonard Maltin | Leonard Maltin August 5, 2011 at 4:07AM

The Whistleblower
3

We all know about good intentions and where they can lead. No one could question the serious intent of The Whistleblower or the scandalous behavior it reveals on the part of so-called United Nations peacekeepers in Bosnia during the late 1990s. Nor would anyone dispute the heinousness of human trafficking and exploitation of underage girls. But one can quarrel with the effectiveness of this movie.We all know about good intentions and where they can lead. No one could question the serious intent of The Whistleblower or the scandalous behavior it reveals on the part of so-called United Nations peacekeepers in Bosnia during the late 1990s. Nor would anyone dispute the heinousness of human trafficking and exploitation of underage girls. But one can quarrel with—

—the effectiveness of this movie.

Rachel Weisz plays a real-life Nebraska policewoman named Kathryn Bolkovac, and does her best to give the character some dimension. But once her backstory is established, it virtually disappears; we understand why she takes the job overseas, but after she gets involved in matters there, her life back home becomesan afterthought.

It’s clear early on that she doesn’t stand a chance when she tries to buck the old-boy network that’s running things in Bosnia, with corruption permeating the local police force as well as the independent firm, here called Democra, that’s been hired by the U.N. And it’s no secret what happens to whistleblowers.

Subsidiary female characters, played by actresses of genuine stature, are sketchily drawn. Vanessa Redgrave is a diplomat who becomes Weisz’s ally in fighting the good fight, and Monica Bellucci is a seemingly cold embassy official who is bound by protocol. David Strathairn shows up as a rare good-guy who’s willing to help Weisz, but he can’t do much playing a one-dimensional figure.

The Whistleblower is capably made, by director and co-screenwriter Larysa Kondracki, on authentic-looking locations, and is (unfortunately) all too believable. As a cautionary exposé it certainly has merit, but as drama it sadly falls short.

This article is related to: Film Reviews