From seedy strip joints and dive bars to sleek private jets and marbled mansions, the upcoming film, The Infiltrator, offers a glimpse into two very different sides of Miami—and Colombia.
The film is based on the true story of Federal Customs Agent Robert Mazur (played by Bryan Cranston), who in 1986 assumed a fake identity in order to get deep inside the Colombian Drug Cartel. As smooth American businessman Bob Musella, Mazur gains the trust of drug lords, mob bosses, and crooked bankers alike, convincing them that he’s a master money launderer.
He and fellow agent Kathy Ertz (played by Diane Kruger), who poses as his fashionable fiancé, manage to so thoroughly infiltrate the Colombian underworld (befriending a cast of shady characters along the way) that they are eventually able to take down Medellín Cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar, and a few dirty banks and businessmen in the process. Before The Infiltrator hits the big screen on July 13, read on to learn the five coolest things about this film.
1. Diane Kruger’s Retro Wardrobe
Costume designer Dinah Collin nailed the jet-set rich wife look with plunging halters, silk blouses, fur coats, oversize sunglasses, piles of gold jewelry, and lots of bold colors like red and black. “Diane can wear strong patterns and colors, which we used to emphasize the differences in her two personas: the role of customs officer against the rich girlfriend”, says Collin. “So clothes in blues and beige were used for her customs work looks, and lots of color and glitz for the rich world she pretended to be in."
Because director Brad Furman wanted a more sophisticated, classy feel, as opposed to a kitsch or Miami Vice look, Collin utilized designer vintage pieces by YSL, Lanvin, and others—as well as newly created outfits to read '80s chic. She even threw in a pair of her mom's old sunglasses. “My associate cleverly sourced many of the outfits for Diane in London, and I brought vintage dresses for Diane from L.A.,” Collin explains. Kruger rocked them all, but one real standout was a pair of white vintage trousers from London, a silk Matthew Williamson blouse, and a vintage belt and necklace from Spitalfields Market. Of course, Kruger’s perfectly feathered hair added to the whole vibe. You can almost picture her singing "Don't Leave Me This Way" in the middle of a disco, holding a glass of Dom Pérignon.
2. Bryan Cranston
We loved him as Walter White on Breaking Bad—witnessing his transformation from mild-mannered school teacher to a meth-making criminal mastermind—and this performance does not disappoint, either. Here, Cranston goes from weathered and weary customs agent Mazur, slugging beers in a dingy bowling alley, to his faux identity as slick designer label-wearing banker. He’s a joy to watch as he glides from Colombia to Miami to London, swirling whiskey in a crystal glass while flying on a private jet or smashing cake into the face of a waiter for bringing his wife the wrong order. And he’s completely believable all along the way.
3. The Quirky Supporting Characters
The eclectic group of characters who round out this cast—drug lords and henchmen, financiers and agents, wives, moms, aunts, and strippers add to the raw authenticity of the true tale. Some standouts: Olympia Dukakis. Her cameo as Musella’s Aunt Vicky—a manipulative matriarch who feigns an expertise in real estate—is a scene stealer and just hearing her sassy repartee will make you want to watch Moonstruck again. There’s also John Leguizamo as Musella’s possibly shady, but still loyal fellow agent, Emir Abreu, and Benjamin Bratt as the dashing Robert Alcaino, a handsome drug distributor befriended by Musella, who tries to live a normal life cooking dinner while masterminding drug deals and murders. And we can't forget Yul Vazquez, as a sexually ambiguous drug kingpin named Javier Ospina who looks like the bad guy in a Bond film, in all white clothing from his hat, scarf, and suit, down to his shoes.
4. The Sleazy to Sleek Settings
Moody and raw, you can almost taste the stale desperation and the day old beer in the many scenes that take place in seedy venues—sleazy strip joints, dust-filled dog races, dingy bowling alleys, dark dive bars, and liquor stores flashing broken neon signs. But Academy Award-nominated production designer Crispian Sallis also nails the glamorous side of Mazur’s life—and you can also practically smell the cologne, the expensive liquor, and not to mention, the tension. In the scenes where million dollar deals go down in private jets, banks, and mansions, bloodshed always seems just a trigger finger away.
5. The Fake Wedding Scene
Hosting a faux wedding in order to lure scores of their new criminal pals all into one place so the FBI could conveniently arrest them was a brilliant move by the real life Mazur and his fake fiancé Kathy. In the movie version of that event, Kruger, walking down the aisle as the bride, complete with white gown (based on a vintage Vicky Tiel dress), pearls, and bouquet, seems almost sad that her undercover days as the jet-set wife of a shady businessman are about to come to an end before she even gets the chance to say “I do.” I won’t give away any more details, but all in all, more than 40 criminals were arrested at the sham nuptials, making it one of the biggest busts in history.