In Weisz's eyes, we see Kathryn's transformation from a public servant doing what's expected of her to a crusader driven to by her own conscience. Her performance is terrific; the movie, sadly, is not.
Director Larysa Kondracki's debut film is unsparing in its portrayal of sexual trafficking in a supposedly civilized world. But it's valiant, too -- especially regarding Rachel Weisz's performance as reluctant crusader Kathryn Bolkovac.
Larysa Kondracki's first feature successfully avoids the major pitfalls of the activist docudrama: the main character's heroism never overshadows the larger issue at hand, nor does exposition gum up the storytelling.
It's a thriller sobering enough in its graphic portrayal of forced violence against women that it would be tough to watch if not for the controlled fury Weisz brings to her performance as a down-to-earth avenging angel.
"The Whistleblower" has a choppy, fumbling screenplay (by Ms. Kondracki and Eilis Kirwan) that lurches between shrill editorializing and vagueness while sorting through more characters than it can comfortably handle or even readily identify.
Although the Canada-Germany co-production from first-time feature director Larysa Kondracki isn't as gripping as it could have been, that's no fault of Weisz's: She gives a bracing, wholly connected performance.