The Insider traces the story of Geoffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), unexpectedly dismissed from his job as a tobacco industry executive. He was gradually persuaded by Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) from the CBS ’60 Minutes’ team to ‘blow the whistle’ on the company despite a confidentiality agreement, to call them to account for blatantly lying that cigarettes are not addictive and do not cause unhealthy side-effects. He should know – he had been in charge of development and research.
The tobacco industry went into battle to protect their profitability and avoid liability, and were prepared to do whatever was necessary to suppress and marginalise any action against them. Wigand is caught up between two powerful giants – the media and tobacco companies. He becomes a victim of a smear campaign, a pawn in the ‘big boys’ game, assaulted psychologically and financially, with a devastating impact on his life and marriage. The overall themes of the film include big business ethics, greed, corruption, moral dilemmas, journalistic integrity, and freedom of the press. It’s an intriguing, investigative movie. (based on a Vanity Fair article, ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’)
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Link : Hollywood Jesus review
Link : IMDb entry
Download: Discussion guide for The Insider (pdf)