In the era of the #MeToo movement and an emphasis of keeping people safe from sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, it’s only fitting to create a film revolving around one of the most talked about scandals in 2016: former chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, and his blatant sexual harassment of his female employees.
Bombshell may have centered around an important topic with an all-star cast and crew to back it up, but it only began to touch on the severity and depth of the issue at hand.
First and foremost, the cast is absolutely perfect. In a film where actors are meant to portray real people, it’s crucial to the integrity of the story to find people who can accurately pull off the part. Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes are by far the shining stars of the film. However, there are absolutely no weak links throughout, including Margot Robbie and Kate McKinnon’s respective characters, who aren’t real but add so much to the film.
For those who are real people being portrayed in the film, a lot of the integrity and stand-out performances are thanks to the makeup and costumes crew as well as the dialect coaches. Each actor, especially Theron, are eerily similar to their real life counterparts, and it brings a level of integrity to the film that is necessary for such a heavy topic.
The format of the film also adds an interesting layer, with it being a somewhat third person narrative mixed with a documentary style tour around Fox News, as Kelly breaks the fourth wall by talking directly to the camera. This combination of styles is hard to pull off but works especially well for this film, specifically regarding Kelly, who should earn a newfound sense of respect from Bombshell’s audience.
Though she has had her problematic moments in the past, Kelly is forced to not only open up about her sexual assault to help other women, but be diplomatic toward her job, family and viewers. It certainly adds a new layer to Kelly that most viewers wouldn’t get to see without watching the film.
Bombshell is an emotionally-charged peek into the Ailes scandal of 2016. Though it doesn’t succeed in telling the entire story and merely scratches the surface, it is a story that can be relatable to all women, even those who have never experienced sexual harassment or assault. It gives a miniature look into how women handle sexual harassment or assault in the workplace and how people handle it when they’re told by a coworker or friend of the incident. Though it could’ve done much more, it succeeded in giving a basis of the story, earning more respect for Megyn Kelly and pulling at the emotions of all viewers, sexual assault survivors and non-sexual assault survivors alike.
Clarification: The article has been updated to clarify that Roger Ailes is the former chairman and CEO of Fox News.