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The Insider January 18, 2007

Posted by Priyanka Varma in drama, History, LAN, Mood: Thrill me, Reviews.

“60 Minutes” investigative television newsmagazine on CBS is popular for responsible reporters and producers uncovering the truth before its audience. Many topics center on allegations of wrongdoing and corruption on the part of corporations, politicians, and other public officials. The show has been praised for landmark journalism but also got involved in some controversies. One of the controversies was when it aired an interview with Jeffrey Wigand, ex-VicePresident for R&D dept. of the tobacco company Brown and Williamson(B&W) with altered content and deleting some of the important evidences against B&W.

Michael Mann‘s The Insider is based on this true story. The movie starts with Jeffrey Wigand, played by Russell Crowe, being fired by the CEO of B&W . But before being thrown out he is ordered to sign a confidentiality agreement in order to receive his severance pay and benefits. The Insider60 Minutes ” producer Lowell Bergman, played by Al Pacino comes across Wigand and after too much prodding Wigand tells him that B&W was involved in enhancing the effects of nicotine in cigarettes.

Despite the discontinuance of his severance pay, death threats and attacks on him and his family and breaking marriage, he agrees to go for Mike Wallace, played by Christopher Plummer, interview and reveal the evidences against the tobacco company. Unfortunately, the CBS corporates decide not to air the controversial interview for the fear of being sued by B&W.

The second half of the film shifts from Wigand to Bergman as he fights against CBS to have Wigand’s story heard and made public while Wigand takes the job of a Chemistry teacher in college. Bergman has to struggle alone because Mike Wallace also doesn’t support him.

Russel and Pacino has given a wonderful performance. Wigand is an interesting character who makes the right decisions amidst the troubles he faces. He puts everything at stake to bring out the truth. Pacino as Bergman has proved that he is an excellent actor. Christopher Plummer is also excellent as Mike Wallace.

The movie was a great success because of the good plot, strong cast, superb dialogues and a skilled direction. The film also has a strong message that “Always be with the truth, no matter what the cost “. It also comes out with the message to all smokers and non-smokers that “Smoking can endanger your health“.

And also Hats off to the power of Journalism!!!



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