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Film Review: “The Infiltrator” (2016) ★★★★


Bryan Cranston must have been born under a lucky star. That was fortunate for all of us, in that he was cast in the lead role for Brad Furman’s The Infiltrator.  After his exquisite performance as Trumbo which won him an Academy Award nomination, Mr. Cranston made another challenge in playing a difficult role as Robert Mazur, a man who set up traps for the drug traffickers, the people whose names caused goose bumps.

When Florida was flooded by drug lords and bankers who laundered their money, Robert Mazur, a federal agent and a family man with two kids, began to live a double life. As a banker by the name of Bob Musella, soon the crime world will come to know him, as a man who “guarantees” to take care of their “dirty” money by transferring it through the intricate international finances.

But he had a problem. Could a man with principles play by the rules of a drug cartel? to stay on top of the game? Or would he disregard all written rules, which could put him in grave danger? Within a short while, you will realize that nothing will stop this man to complete his mission successfully.

The Infiltrator, set in the mid-1980s, captures well the true color of that era. Each scene is filled with violence, which is targeted for a mature audience that does not mind watching bloody scuffles and murder. This film does not go around to develop the story; it takes you right to the point from the beginning. That is apparent when Moselle, with the help of his fellow agent and dear friend, Emir Abreau (passionately played by John Leguizamo), cultivates a trusting relationship that eventually helps him to get closer to the archenemy Emilio Escobar’s right-hand man, Roberto Malcaino (Benjamin Bratt).

This is a truly intense crime drama based on a true story. It will stun you in many ways. While the closing credit justifies the stellar cast ensemble, it is the atmosphere of the film that will affect you most deeply. The credit must go to the young and talented filmmaker Brad Furman, but not entirely. Robert Mazur, despite being involved in a secret police investigation, still manages to find a balance between work and family, which is a truly outstanding performance on the part of Bryan Cranston.

Among the great cast which include some notable names, Elena Anaya is someone whom I did not expect to see in this film. She mainly appears in Spanish and European films, but in this film, Anaya brings much-needed sparkle to the character of Gloria Alcaino who is dedicated to her husband Roberto Malcaino, the right-hand man of Escobar.   Diane Kruger, as an undercover agent Kathy Ertz, never appeared as a beautiful and seductive blonde; she portrays a role of an intelligent partner who contributes significantly to the secret operation.

In conclusion, The Infiltrator brings you an opportunity to conduct a detailed character study, where you never have to question why this or that had ever happened. The film also highlights the difficulty of dealing with the drug cartels, with a leader like Escobar, at that time. Needless to say, this film was not about Escobar. Rather, it was a C-Chase operation that educates people about sacrifices certain individuals had made to make our society better, and our life easier to live. It is an entertaining and well-constructed  drama where Cranston once again shines as an individual who well aware of the technique of acting, completely.


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