Xue Xiaolu is not a rookie in Chinese entertainment, since her works include some of the most popular local films of the latest years, including “Ocean Heaven” and “Finding Mr. Right 2”. The filmmaker’s latest project, “The Whistleblower” is one of the few mainstream Chinese movies chosen to be released in the UK and Ireland.
Cine Asia presents The Whistleblower out now in UK & ROI cinemas
Book now: www.thewhistleblowerfilm.com
Mark (played by famous actor Lei Jiayin), an expatriate in Australia, is working for Eco Energy. The corporation is about to sign a big contract with a China-based coal company. He meets his ex-girlfriend Wen (played by the very charismatic Tang Wei). Wen is now married to the CEO of the coal company. Despite both being married, they spend the night together.
The next day, the flight going back to China crashes and Wen, among others, is considered dead. Mark is heartbroken but continues his family life, until he gets contacted by- shock, surprise, and gasp – Wen, who actually didn’t die. The duo (who are not a couple, because Mark decided it was wrong to cheat on his wife after all) is being hunted down by Wen’s ex-husband and by Eco Energy. The Chinese CEO wants her dead because she was going to divorce him, she knows about the shenanigans of the coal company and she wants money from him. Mark, on the other hand, must go because he is getting too involved in understanding what his company is trying to hide. The quest for the truth will take them to Australia, China, and Malawi.
“The Whistleblower” is not the most mind-bending feature, is sometimes a bit cliché, could have been edited a bit more, and some bit of the plot remains unsolved (notably the death of Mark’s predecessor).
However, the film’s strengths are to be found elsewhere.
First of all, even if the movie is a political-action drama, it doesn’t forget to add a bit of humor, often neglected when the film is not labeled as a comedy. If you’re wondering if a non-native Chinese can appreciate the jokes, fear not my friend, for you, a human being, shall understand most of them.
What is more, being an Australian co-production, a lot of the action takes place in the country and sheds light on the Asian community in Australia.
Moreover, the topic and the release of the movie is smart and connected to the current political environment. Legal protections for whistleblowers are getting more and more discussed. In the EU, rules are being homogenized and will be effective from 2021.
If the feature doesn’t remodel the genre, it does what is expected but efficiently and in a smart way. The pace is fast, the action scenes involve car chases, guns, and explosions. The acting is good, the characters are likable. It is also appreciated that the character of Mark’s wife is a bit developed and that she actually has a role to play.
In conclusion, “The Whistleblower” is entertaining and manages to find a good balance between blockbuster and political drama.