— by CHERRY BELL DAMASCO-FARRINGTON —
First of all, I am a big fan of Rachel Weisz and have been since “The Mummy” (which stars another of my favorite actors, Brendan Fraser). I think what I liked about her then, and still do to this date, is that she has always chosen female characters that are strong willed and, at most times, determined to follow a cause through to a solution.
In “The Whistleblower,” alongside Academy Award-winner Vanessa Redgrave and Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn, Weisz portrays Kathryn Bolkovac, who is selected to be a part of a group of U.S. police officers to serve and “protect the rule of law” in war-devastated Bosnia. Once in Bosnia, Weisz’s character encounters women who are victims of prostitution. She makes a promise to help the women in their plight, but little does she know there is a mass cover up of everything that she has stumbled upon and is warned to back off the case.
Similar to many of the characters Weisz has chosen to play, Bolkovac does not ease off from what she feels is her duty as a police officer to stop and protect those who are affected. Benedict Cumberbatch — who will be voicing Sauron and Smaug in the upcoming “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” — lends a small role in this movie to warn Bolkovac of the top players in the conspiracy. Not only does the cover-up involve known criminals but also top-ranking officials and he reminds her that international diplomats are immune to prosecution and will not amount to much of a case in her favor.
We see a brief clip of Monica Belluci, who seems to portray a top organization official who reprimands Weisz’s character. Belluci is such a great international actress, known for various roles that require speaking different languages. It truly amazes me and makes me wonder whether she will be fully speaking English this time around.
From the trailer alone, we see a lot of the plot unravel and, at first glance, this role reminded me very much of “The Constant Gardner,” which I also loved. Instead of fighting an international corporation cover up, Weisz’s character is fighting the government itself and its myriad layers to get to the top. Even though the majority of Rachel Weisz’s scenes from “The Constant Gardner” were spent in recollections of Ralph Fiennes’ character, her character ultimately dies in the film. Will Kathryn Bolkovac survive her battle to “protect the rule of law” as she is initially tasked to do? Did I also mention that Weisz also won an Academy Award for her role as Tessa in “The Constant Gardener”? I just thought I would throw that little tidbit of information out there. If she can deliver an Oscar performance in a similar role, there’s a very likely chance that this will not be any different.
The film is written and directed by Larysa Kondracki based on true events and has a limited release in the United States starting Aug. 5 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. With a strong cast, I believe that this independent drama may be worth going to see.
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