(Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures)
Like my pastor would say, the great theologians The O’Jays tried to tell people back in 1972 what back stabbers will do.
The O’Jays sang, “What they do? They smile in your face, all the time they want to take your place, the back stabbers (back stabbers).”
The group from Canton, Ohio must have been referring to a rival group or something because in the movie “The Whistlers,” a group has its eyes on a prize.
But the fact that no one is trustworthy, and everyone stabs everyone in the back, makes getting their hands on the coveted prize much more difficult.
“The Whistlers” comes out at a time in the world in which alleged police misconduct is constantly under the microscope.
With technology so advanced, it is as if police officers find themselves under 24-hour surveillance.
Crooked officer Cristi (Vlad Ivanov) finds himself under the watchful eye of adversaries as soon as he touches down in the Canary Islands.
When his co-conspirator Gilda (Catrinel Marlon) picks him up to drive him to his destination, Cristi observes that he is being watched.
Cristi and Gilda have to pretend that they are lovers so that those scoping out their every move will not become suspicious to their planned shenanigans.
Their charade has to continue even when they get into Cristi’s hotel room because he believes that his room has been bugged with video recording devices.
Gilda and Cristi elaborate on their ruse by making it appear that Gilda is a high-class hooker so that her early departure from Cristi’s room will not look suspicious.
The fake prostitute even asks Cristi about his mother’s gardening obsession to make their hook up seem authentic to those eavesdropping.
Because the duo, and their colleagues, constantly finds themselves under the watchful eyes of their enemies, they need a secret language so that they can communicate, unabated, no matter who is around and no matter where they are.
In “The Whistlers,” the crooked police officers have developed their own language in which they perfect whistling.
Each sound means a different letter.
The police officers have even developed whistling communication for some foreign languages.
The Whistlers have perfected their craft so well that they can be in the presence of their enemies and have a full-blown conversation with someone yards away and people will only suspect that they’re off their rocker and not up to anything nefarious.
The Whistlers have a plan that could set them up financially for generations.
But first Cristi has to show that he has what it takes to become a whistler.
Cristi has to increase his lung capacity and endurance so that he can communicate fully by whistling.
Therefore, his comrades make him practice holding his breath underwater to build up his lungs and stamina.
Then Cristi has to learn the actual whistling language in multiple vernaculars just in case a comrade does not speak the same actual language that he does.
Next, Christi learns about the planned caper.
The crooked officers discover that a mattress factory has $30 million in the factory from drug money.
They plan to use their status as police officers, and inside informants, to steal the money from the factory, which would set them up financially for life and then some.
Unfortunately, when $30 million is at stake, criminals probably cannot even trust their parents because anyone and everyone would probably stab a person in the back for that kind of loot.
“The Whistlers” makes a lot of noise not simply because of its new language, but also because of the movie’s style, cool and “gangsterism.”
Cristi is the most unique character of them all, followed by Gilda.
The male protagonist has such a sketchy background, despite his job as a police officer, that his mother does not really know what he has involved himself in.
Cristi’s mother might as well be like Tommy Strawn’s (Thomas Mikal Ford) mother from the sitcom “Martin” because she does not even know what her son really does for a living.
The officer’s mother really begins to question her son when she finds $50,000 in her house that she cannot account for.
But like all hustlers, Cristi has an alibi in case authorities question his mother about the money’s origin.
Cristi epitomizes the cool and collected criminal.
He never raises his voice or loses his temper regardless of how dangerous a situation might be.
Cristi trusts no one and can tell, almost instinctively, when someone is full of it and untrustworthy.
In “The Whistlers,” Gilda is gorgeous, graceful and gangster as well.
She knows how to use her sex appeal to dupe gangsters and other law enforcement officials.
Cristi and Gilda have a great rapport.
But can the two even trust each other let alone everyone else?
Do Cristi and Gilda have each other’s backs?
Or are Gilda and Cristi really backstabbers trying to take the $30 million for themselves?
On “Back Stabbers,” The O’Jays famously sang, “A few of your buddies they sure look shady, Blades are long, clenched tight in their fist, Aimin’ straight at your back, and I don’t think they’ll miss.”
“The Whistlers” created a fan base on the film festival circuit and among movie critics around the globe, with the Guardian describing, “The Whistlers” as “elegant, stylishly crafted.”
And on July 21, “The Whistlers” will see if they can craft an even bigger fan base after its release digitally and on DVD on that day.