Bombshell: The BRWC DVD Review – As a film that attempts to define the Me Too movement “Bombshell” disappoints. Unfocused and manically frenetic the film fails to properly explore the underbelly of sexual harassment, the environments that cause it to thrive, and even be abetted with encouragement and dudebro high fives.
Multiple intersecting and interjecting storylines are never fully developed and the film is left with one-dimensional characters, most of whom are based on real life victims of sexual harassment. What the world needed was a hard hitting expose, and what we got were some strung together shaky cam shots and flimsy exposition.
There was a great potential here to show what happens when a woman attempts to climb the corporate ladder in a thoughtful and emotionally rich way, but, instead, the script from screenwriter Charles Randolph gets confused. It is muddled in unabashed limousine liberal speak that distracted from the real point, women being assaulted by higher up executives, women being forced into quid pro quo situations, and the post traumatic stress that follows any form of sexual harassment or assault.
It was more of a hit piece on conservatives and Fox News when it should have been focused on the emotional torment these women went through when they were being harassed throughout their careers. It came off preachy and disingenuous, almost cheapening their stories. Sexual misconduct does not know political lines. It is not assigned democrat or republican, it is a widespread cultural and societal issue and should be treated as such.
Director Jay Roach was definitely an unlikely choice as he made a name for himself in filmmaking as the helmer of the Austin Powers series, and who could forget the famous line “do I make you horny, baby?” Considering his problematic directing history with female characters, such as Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley,) from the original “Austin Powers” who was initially disgusted by Austin’s sexual advances, but then as he chipped away at her resistance she fell in love with him, or Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham) from the Austin Powers sequel whose name says it all; it was no surprise to me that this movie did not dig deep, and did not understand women. It barely even scratched the surface, there certainly were and are better choices that could have been made in terms of a director for this piece.
All of this being said, the film did excel in makeup. Kazu Hiro deserves accolades for transforming the actresses into the anchor women they portrayed, and some of the resemblances were uncanny. None of the performances were particular stand outs for me, or even very good. My favorite performance, ironically, was the fictional character Kayla played by Margot Robbie, and I think that likely has to do with her being able to craft it herself.
Though “Bombshell” undoubtedly tackled an important topic, it came across like a made for TV movie that really missed the mark, and it is a shame because it was a story worthy of being told, just not in such an uninspired and careless fashion. Here is to hoping that one day women get the MeToo movie they deserve.
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