A devastating problem that is still prevalent today, Bombshell tackles the very real issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.
Whilst sitting in the small screening at Nottingham Broadway cinema, I couldn’t help but think about how well the film had been produced and how such an important topic had reached all corners of the world, from big box offices in the US to a small Nottingham local cinema; and it’s great that it has – such a topic begs to be discussed by everyone, because it can affect everyone and anyone.
Centred around 2016, the film focuses on the sexual harassment allegations against then Fox CEO, Roger Ailes. In the film, we see actual footage of interviews with Trump, featuring some attention focusing on comments that Trump had made regarding women.
The film is based on true events, with some facts and characters fictionally presented, following the busy lives of three women, Megyn Kelly, a then news anchor for Fox, Gretchen Carlson, a then co-anchor of show ‘Fox and Friends’ (before being moved to another show in a less desirable spot in the schedule) and Kayla Pospisil, fictional character, newly hired member of Fox.
Carlson files a law suit against Ailes for sexual harassment after she is fired without reason. As the film progresses more women come out against Ailes, and it is revealed that Kelly and Pospisil have also been harassed. Eventually, Carlson wins her case, along with $20 million.
Charlize Theron (Kelly), Nicole Kidman (Carlson) and Margot Robbie (Pospisil) take key roles and are able to show women in powerful roles being affected by such issues and it really helps evolve the narrative and show a number of different roles within the workplace being affected by this.
All actors and actresses involved gave stellar performances, with emotional and physical aspects portrayed cleverly and professionally. One performance that stood out for me, leaving my heart feeling full of sadness, is when Robbie’s character, Kayla, is coerced into lifting her dress for Ailes, to reveal her underwear.
It’s a scene that makes you think ‘will he ask her to lift her skirt higher?’ and when he does, it dawned on me that situations like this could happen regularly.
The film is directed by Jay Roach, who of course is known for directing the Austin Powers movies, which is far from this hard-hitting topic, but despite this fact he executes the film well.
On a more technical aspect, the film is outstanding. The close up camera shots of characters’ faces, especially the women, really emphasise how much of an issue sexual harassment at work is and how, as a society, we need to face it head on, as well as shaky camera shots to highlight the severity of the situation and how work relationships can become delicate, pushed over the edge of professional.
You can watch Bombshell in cinemas now.