Cigarettes Are Injurious To Health

A hard-hitting tale about corporate greed and one man's effort to tell the truth.

Journalism and seven tobacco moguls collide in this gripping two-hour plus flick. Al Pacino plays Lowell, a reporter who directs and edits "60 Minutes", a controversial TV show.

The action starts when he comes into contact with Jeffrey Wigand [Russell Crowe], a research and development scientist who's being paid to keep his mouth shut.

What ensues is a horrifying revelation of how the seven leading tobacco companies in the U.S. enhance the tobacco smoker's experience by chemically treating the nicotine content that goes into their cigarettes.

No blow-ups, no shoot-outs, no car chases in this one. Instead we`re treated to snazzy camera angles, the occasional humming of fax machines and computers and for the most part, razor sharp dialogues that leave one breathless.

The plot is simple, yet adequately spiced up with suave corporate intrigues, lightly sketched out American family and work-area relationships, well placed surprises and an insight into cutting edge reportage.

The background score is thrilling and it merges beautifully with the action on screen.

Al Pacino, it goes without saying, plays the role of a committed reporter with ├ęclat. His role is endearing and very chic. Russell Crowes performance is excellent. Hes a man caught between doing the right thing by his family and doing the very same by the American millions. These conflicting duties by society on the one hand and family on the other pull him apart. Does he emerge victorious?

It`s worth finding out, in this mentally stimulating suspense drama...

This article was first published on 08 Mar 2000.