Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and John Lithgow
Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Charles randolph
In a society where everyone has heard of the #MeToo movement, it was only going to be a matter of time before the filmmaking world started to bring some of these stories to the forefront. A potentially tricky task due to the current (and ongoing) unearthing of the horrors around sexual abuse and assault within it’s own industry; though vitally important. It’s worth saying that for anyone who has suffered in this area, this film could present emotional triggers so please only watch this film with a clear understanding of the themes.
Bombshell tells the true story surrounding the downfall of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes (Lithgow) – the plot focuses on 3 career driven women as the audience witnesses moments of inappropriate behaviour and see a shift as Gretchen Carlson (Kidman) files a sexual assault law suit against Ailes, the concern of backlash from Megyn Kelly (Theron) and the fresh faced fictional character Kayla (Robbie) as she’s starting her career at Fox. There has been some backlash over the casting of Margot Robbie and the creation of her character, some angry and confused at the introduction of a fictional character while there were many real life people to pick from and include in the story. I can’t really comment on this as other than to say I can see why Robbie was cast in this role and feel like her character progressed the story. We can see similarities between the three women all at different ages having to deal with the comments and pressure thrown their way. Where Bombshell succeeds is in showing how the predatory and sinister abuse plays out in the corporate environment, it really demonstrates the manipulative control involved which can help the audience understand on a deeper level through empathy.
My main struggles with this movie is the lack of interaction between our leads. I understand that the choices to have three storylines highlights the enormity of the issue, particularly in this case of Roger Ailes, but the disjointed story hopping does mean that the individual storylines aren’t particularly fleshed out and you need to pay attention to keep up with it all. I feel somewhat conflicted while considering the movie as a whole – if it wasn’t based upon truth and around such an important topic then I’m not sure I would have valued it to the same degree and yet because of those factors I really did. I think it’s such an important film and it deserves an audience.
Bombshell has a textured, focussed, audience/character togetherness that truly taps into empathetic side of human nature for it’s audience. It doesn’t portray it’s heroines as perfect, which in a way allows us to relate and engage even more with the fact two of the key storylines are mirrored from reality. It’s a movie that has stuck in my mind and I find new aspects of it interesting each time I consider it. For me the main takeaway was a deep sadness, and heartbreak for victims. It really struck me how difficult it must be to discuss; from a shame and embarrassment through to a feeling of helplessness and being manipulated, it truly broke my heart. I can only hope that society continues to progress in this area, keeps highlighting issues and provides the care that victims deserve. Movies like this will help people talk, bring people together and hopefully keep us taking steps in the right direction.