The Insider: How good movies could be
Movies. I love them. Most of them are simply average. Mindless entertainment is ok, but…much more satisfying are those few rare movies that actually make you think and do it in such a way that is not overwrought melodrama, or sappy sentimentalism. The best movies are those that use the full power of the medium of sight and sound and a good story to get the job done. The Insider is truly a superior movie in all respects, one of the most captivating and riveting films I’ve seen in a long time.
I judge a movie’s "grabbing power" by how well it distracts me as I’m
doing my exercise on the treadmill. When I forget how long I’ve
been working out and want to keep going when the time’s up, that’s a good
movie. When I can’t wait to get back on the treadmill the next morning
to see more of the movie….that’s a GREAT movie. When I must finish a
movie no matter what after my workout. That’s a movie in a league of
its own. The Insider is in a league of its own. An example of a movie that bored me to distraction was Troy which did provide nearly three workouts for me, since it is nearly three hours long, but my goodness…I was walking and walking and thought, "Will this interminable drivel never end?"
The Insider tells the true
story of Dr. Jeff Wigand, the whistle-blower who was the
key to the success of the largest lawsuit against corporate malfeasance
in the nation’s history. Wigand, head of R and D, for a large tobacco
company, Brown and Williams, maker of a wide variety of cancer sticks, came forward to report how the tobacco industry knowingly uses
chemicals to boost the addictive power of nicotine and was using a
chemical substance to do so that is a known carcinogen. As if smoking
is not bad enough, they went and made it far worse. Well, that’s the
framework for this movie which is also about the show 60 Minutes caving
into pressure from CBS legal not to run the story, after Wigend had
gone on tape recounting the facts of the situation. It is an amazingly
good study of human nature and it does in a way that does not depend on
cheap emotional tricks, special effects, stunts or otherwise. This
movie rests on solid story telling, great film work and absolutely
fantastic acting. It just felt like a really old-fashioned movie, movie, sans mindless special effects and overblown editing and acting.
Al Pacino plays the hard-charging 60 Minutes
producer, Lowell Bergman, who finally himself blows the whistle on the
cover up going on via 60 Minutes. Pacino was perfectly cast for this role. I loved watching him in action. Russell Crowe plays Wigand and is
simply brilliant. When Crowe plays a part you feel you really know the person he is playing.
If you would like to see a movie that does
make you think and presents the full power of motion pictures in an
artful and classy way, this movie is for you. Not to mention the fact
that it fully exposes the evil of the tobacco industry and the evils of
tobacco use. I’ve been convinced for years now that cigarrette smoking is a sin against the fifth commandment, committed against oneself, and that it is a sin against the fifth commandment to be involved in the production of cigarrettes’ since they do such hurt and harm to our neighbor. Cigarette smoking is done for the express purpose of getting a nicotine fix throughout the day and night. I am not condemning all tobacco use, but as soon as tobacco use becomes addicting, it is no different in my opinion than an addiction to alcohol. But I digress. See this movie! The "R" rating is earned by use of rough language by the principles. No sex. No violence.