The 2009 drama thriller “The Informant” from Warner Bros was directed by Steven Soderbergh with the screenplay written by Scott Z. Burns based on Kurt Eichenwald’s book of the same name. Starring: Matt Damon, Tony Hale, Lucas McHugh Carroll, Eddie Jemison, Rusty Schwimmer, Craig Ricci Shaynak, Tom Papa, Rick Overton, Melanie Lynskey, Thomas F. Wilson, Scott Bakula, Scott Adsit, Ann Dowd, Allan Havey, Howie Johnson and Patton Oswalt.
Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon), is the type of guy who always tries to do the right thing and gets carried away by the process. He is on his way to a top management position at the Decatur, Illinois headquarters of the agricultural products manufacturing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and now he has to spill the beans about the dirty dealings of the corporate giant. In the early 1990s, Whitacre and many other executives had regular illegal price-fixing meetings regarding the food additive lysine which increased the company’s profits. Everyone at these meetings knew what they were doing was against the law, but the money was too tempting to resist.
Somehow Whitacre confessed all of this to FBI agent Brian Shepard (Scott Bakula) and is asked to wear a wire to collect evidence against the company so that the FBI can stop these illegal activities. Whitacre agrees and begins to adopt the behavior of the image of a secret agent he has in his mind which almost ensures that the FBI will not have the evidence they need for the case. Yet while Whitacre’s behavior seems bizarre to everyone around him, there is nothing wrong with his mind as he embezzles a fortune from the company and positions himself to take over the company when the current management is arresting during the time he worked for the government.
The real fun begins when the FBI discovers Whitacre’s act of fraud and the true face of his insanity begins to surface as he becomes more and more desperate to avoid prosecution. Determined to slant the situation in his favor he begins to create reasons to justify his behavior, even to the point of involving several of the FBI agents. When all is said and done, Whitacre is sent off to jail with a heavier sentence than anyone else in the case, but even from behind bars Whitacre is seeking a presidential pardon-is he just another victim of corporate greed?