The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 112 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Anna Annissimova, Monica Bellucci, Nikolaj Lie Kaas
Directed by: Larysa Kondracki
Music by: Mychael Danna
Written by: Eilis Kirwan & Larysa Kondracki
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 24, 2012
"Nothing is more dangerous than the truth"
When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz) accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in post-war Bosnia, she uncovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. After learning that fellow peacekeepers and military contractors are involved in the ghastly practice and its cover-up, Bolkovac risks her own life to save the lives of others and expose the corruption.
Inspired by true events The whistleblower tells the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a divorced Nebraska police officer who accepts a job as a United Nation's sponsored peacekeeper in order to earn the additional money she needs to move closer to her daughter. Kathryn isn't exactly the idealistic type however once she arrives in post-war torn Bosnia she gains an optimistic perspective hoping to help rebuild and reestablish order in the devastated country. While investigating a series of smaller crimes in the area she stumbles upon a tangled and dangerous web of human trafficking involving teenage girls. Using her training/instincts she attempts to trace its source/location. What she uncovers is the shocking reality of lawlessness, internal corruption, and cover-up amid a world of private contractors and multinational diplomatic doubletalk. Determined to make a difference she puts it all on the line to bring this interminable and deadly situation to light. What she doesn't see is just how far in over her head she truly is..
After seeing the trailer for this my curiosity was piqued. I like Rachel Weisz and being typically drawn to films based on true events I looked forward to checking it out. This is a powerful, disturbing and graphic drama that is told in broad stokes as it speaks from one side about the violence, isolation and futility experienced by these young girls that are tricked, abducted and forced to become slaves in the money making human trafficking running rampant in certain parts of the world. It's an expose on the blankets of red tape associated with diplomatic immunity as well as portraying those in charge as a group of butt covering morally irresponsible types that only care about meeting their own agenda. There would be no way to say with certainty that the events depicted in the film are completely factual but there is no denying that human trafficking is a component found in organized crime. In a place like Bosnia it is certainly plausible that turning a blind eye to such criminal activity goes on. The film is stirring and engaging especially in its depiction of the experiences of the victims as well as Kathryn's struggle to intercede. It's a little melodramatic and didactic but there is enough intrigue and strong performances (Rachel Weisz can always be counted on) to keep interest high. The The whistleblower more than met my expectations and is a film that is well worth your time.
The rating is for disturbing violent content including a brutal sexual assault, graphic nudity and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The whistleblower comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 38 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.
This video presentation offers little in the way of high Gloss, razor sharp imagery but it seems to represent the film's elements well. Primary colors appear satisfying while the film intentionally maintains a cooler overall palette that works well against the drab settings featured in the story. Complexions are texturally descriptive with lifelike tonality that varies only slightly among the cast. Resolution is very good although the film's inherently softer elements leave some wide angle shots with smoother lines and average delineation. Close ups and mid level shots are more revealing of the resolvable detail that draws out subtle textures in the people and objects within the frame. Contrast is on the money and blacks are stable but not overly dynamic in appearance. I saw no overt signs of video anomalies or compression related artifacts.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and well articulated dialogue. Sound effects had notable dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and aurally satisfying. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere and low frequency detail from time to time. The mix excels at creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field's acoustic environment. Low frequency effects are used to deliver impact when called for while adding solidity to the film's music.
- (HD) Kathy Bolkovac: The real whistleblower - 5 minute featurette
Inspired by true events The whistleblower tells the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, a divorced Nebraska police officer who accepts a job as a United Nation's sponsored peacekeeper in post-war torn Bosnia and her struggles once she uncovers a deadly human trafficking ring only to find that it's activities are traced to lawlessness within her own ranks. The one sided narrative paints in broad strokes but there is plenty of depth and intrigue found in the effecting subject matter, and powerful performances by the cast. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring gratifying high definition audio/video quality while offering only a brief featurette on the real Kathryn Bolkovac. The whistleblower is an engaging drama that is worth checking out and should be moved to the top of your rental queue.
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