By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
In 2016, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit charging sexual harassment against Fox CEO Roger Ailes. Not too long afterward, several other women, including Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly came forward and made claims of their own. A new movie from director Jay Roach offers some insight into this troubling controversy. It is a movie that handles the scandal mostly well, but doesn’t dig quite deep enough into the emotional trauma experienced by Roger Ailes’ victims. To its benefit, though, the movie does have an outstanding cast with actors Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie shining rather brightly.
Bombshell gives a somewhat intimate look into the inner workings of Fox News during this controversial time period. Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidma) both face their struggles as women anchors wanting to work fastidiously on their own terms. The trouble is that Fox News, under the leadership of Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) holds steadfast in being a voice for the conservative right. Meanwhile, aspiring journalist Kayla Pospisil (Robbie) ambitiously tries to move up in the ranks to represent Christianity, but in doing so, discovers that Roger Ailes abuses his position of power to fulfill his own prurient desires.
Written by Charles Randolph, Jay Roach’s Bombshell offers a fascinating and disturbing glimpse into the world of cable news, but also confirms the seedier aspects of power and its abuse. What holds this movue back from being outstanding is its mostly direct focus on the more scandalous side of the problem. I feel that the movie could have developed the Gretchen Carlson character. The film does a great job of developing Megyn Kelly and Kayla Pospisil, but slights Carlson. Still, Roach, Randolph, cast and crew do make an inspiring and powerful statement with Bombshell that is undeniable.
What really helps drive its messages home are the great performances by the cast. Charlize Theron, not only looks and sounds like Megyn Kelly, but she credibly portrays her through conviction and an excellent grasp of the character. Even though the writing doesn’t completely develop the Gretchen Carlson character, Nicole Kidman certainly improves on the script’s limitations. Margot Robbie also does a wonderful job of portraying the optimistic and naive Kayla Pospisil, a young and hungry woman who wants to be either the next Gretchen or Megyn.
So even though, this movie has its flaws and limitations it is a film I still highly recommend. The idea of a Bombshell movie might turn off some people, given the political leanings of Fox News. However, I feel that the movie doesn’t serve as an advocate for any political ideology, but rather serves as another example of a serious problem for women in any workplace.