Have you ever watched a movie you really liked for the third or fourth time and all of a sudden seen something there you never saw before? It happened to me the other night watching The Insider.
On previous viewings, I'd been so caught up in the drama I didn't realize that The Insider is really about a man in a career transition—abrupt and brutal, to be sure, but also transformational.
The Insider is based on true incidents in the life of a Ph.D. chemist named Jeffrey Wigand who worked as vice-president of R&D for Brown & Williamson tobacco company and was fired by them because he knew that the company was adding carcinogenic substances to the nicotine in their cigarettes. The action of the film is driven by Wigand's decision to go public with first-hand knowledge of how the tobacco industry uses chemical compounds to promote addiction.
How far will Big Tobacco go to shut him up? Will this bright, responsible, somewhat confused, man be able to hold up under intimidation by his former employer, on the one hand, and, on the other, pressure from a 60 Minutes producer to blow the whistle by doing an interview on national television?