It's an old cliche that the world is what it is not because of bad men, but because of good men who watch and do nothing. We all have a strong sense of personal justice. But ask yourself if you saw something so wrong happening with others that it churns your guts, would you poke your nose into it?
Even if you did, how far would you go? Far enough to risk your life and limb?
Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz), a US police officer in Bosnia on a UN peacekeeping mission, discovers that her own colleagues are involved in a sex and trafficking racket of young women.
She interferes, not realising it to be an international conspiracy. She soon finds herself to be a lone fighter against a system that involves the military, MNCs and governments.
The history of the world is usually about emperors and dictators. But a footnote of history is dominated by misfits who refuse to be mute spectators. They are first coaxed, bribed and then beaten and often killed by the system they threaten.
But make no mistakes, it is these who stand up and blow the whistle. It's these who count in the end. For they break through impregnable walls, bruised and battered in battle they still carry on. And though their head may be cut, it remains unbowed to the injustice around.
Whatever good exists in the world, it is largely due to these maverick whistleblowers who defy even their own puny stature to try the impossible.
This film does both, pays homage to their indomitable courage, and recounts their impossible travails.
The Whistleblower works because it plays like a thriller. It does an extremely good job in building up dramatic tension, even though the creative liberty taken from the real story may feel improbable in the end.
Rachel Weisz's right mix of innocent vulnerability and inner strength carries the film forward and gives out the message that justice often needs to be an inside job.
The good thing about US whistleblower films is that a viewer knows beforehand that the protagonist will win in the end. Americans, after all, are known to celebrate success. Reality, however, is slightly different. In the real world, the people in the true story on which the film is based roam free.
Thankfully, this little injustice will not deter those who seek justice for others. For whistleblowers in truth are the vigilante superheroes of the real world. And their superpowers include an indomitable will, a passion for justice and a belief that what they do matters. To these men and women, we truly owe the world.