Those who are familiar with Roger Ailes will somewhat recall his ousting back in 2016 because of a series of sexual harassment allegations. The movie Bombshell takes on that storyline and does a fine job whilst providing a frighteningly accurate recollection of events.
Headed by Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Grethen Carlson and Margot Robbie as the fictional Kayla Popisil, the movie is already strengthened by the trio’s strong performance. One of the solid reasons to catch the movie is Theron’s convincing portrayal of Kelly.
The movie starts with Theron’s Kelly taking the audience on a tour around the company while explaining the atrocities that take place, focusing explicitly on how high heels and short skirts “help” the women in Fox to strive. This creates a more personal outreach with the audience from the beginning, as this method is also employed during other scenes where Kidman is involved.
While Theron led the way, the movie truly begins when Carlson, played by Kidman, gets fired without a proper reason and brings a lawsuit against Fox Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes.
What began as a struggle for Carlson as the case prolongs, starts an interesting development when Ailes’ history slowly comes to light. It turns out Ailes had previously abused and exploited women by offering them positions in his company or opportunities to appear on TV in exchange for special favours.
Robbie who plays Kayla, one of the fictional characters, equally shines in the presence of her more experienced cast members. Kayla represents the group of young women who often get threatened and cornered by more powerful characters in the real world. Often, the former would be offered a chance to get to the top, provided they can give their ‘loyalty’ in return.
Bombshell also exposes the grim truth in the broadcasting industry, where women are constantly exposed to demeaning comments both on and off-air, from guests on the show or audiences on social media. The only way to maintain soaring ratings is by showing high heels and long legs on camera.
While more women came out in exposing Ailes and his secrets, the movie shows that somehow power and money still plays a dominant role in today’s world. This was captured brilliantly with a scene where Ailes flashes a charming smile, knowing that he was able to do the things he did to countless women for a long time.
Aside from the powerful storytelling and strong performances by the cast, the Jay Roach-directed movie has some flaws in terms of inaccuracies as the plot reaches conclusion. However, this is somewhat excusable as the movie intended to focus on the three female characters from the start.