05 April 2011

"The Informant!" and the Lies We Tell

“Things going on I don’t approve of.”  -Mark Whitacre from “The Informant!”

Soon after the above dialogue is spoken, we learn that while Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) doesn’t approve of his company’s conspiring to fix the price of corn with its global competitors, he has no problem lying – to the F.B.I., his family, himself, and countless others – or embezzling millions of dollars from his company, Archer Daniels Midland (A.D.M.). That line also illustrates the duality found all through The Informant!, mostly in the form of the humorous, frequently non-essential-to-the-plot voice-overs, which run as Whitacre’s internal monologue throughout the film. The duality also surfaces when we realize that the scandal and conspiracy we’ve been dragged into isn’t exactly what it seems.