VOD film review: The Informant (Gibraltar)
James Butlin | On 28, Aug 2014
Director: Julien Leclercq
Cast: Gilles Lellouche, Tahar Rahim, Riccardo Scamarcio
Watch The Informant online in the UK: Netflix UK / TalkTalk TV / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Rakuten TV / Google Play / Sky Store
Marc Duval (Lellouche) is a bar owner in Gibraltar, who seems to be on the verge of bankruptcy, as his payments on his boat and bar spiral out of his reach. It’s only after his latest loan application is turned down that he is approached by Redjani (Rahim), a man who works for French customs and asks for Duval to become an informant (or a “notifier”, as they put it) on the people within his bar discussing shipments of drugs.
As he becomes more involved with French customs, Duval gets deeper into the trafficking and the trust gets murkier between various dealers, customs and authorities. The film is based on a true story and is a well-written adaptation by the same writer behind A Prophet and Mesrine, Abdel Raouf Dafri. The plot slowly develops, as the innocent Duval slowly becomes embroiled in shady deals and blackmails, while trying to keep his family as far out of it as possible.
Part of the issue with the film lies with its inability to clearly outline the various groups embroiled in the different blackmailing. It gets to the point of being unsure who is allied with whom. It’s also partly a gangster/crime thriller and partly an innocent man fighting for his own justice; the script manages to tread the line quite neatly, but it doesn’t fully immerse in either way.
The beginning of the film is set in the sunny harbours and streets of Gibraltar, before gradually making way to industrial ports and warehouses. It’s a clear outline to keep the mind-set of the main character obvious, as his desperation to make money for his family comes down to his need to then protect them. A father and husband trying to survive but brought down by doing right? The Informant is bleak, but if you like a French crime thriller, this will hit the spot.
The Informant is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.