“Bombshell,” tells the real story of the women of Fox News coming forward to expose the media giant’s former CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. Focused around real-life anchors Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, the women must decide whether to stay silent or tell their truth.
“Bombshell,” if nothing else, is anchored by incredible performances from its three leads. Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman all put forth exceptional work. Theron is almost unrecognizable as Kelly. Kidman portrays Gretchen Carlson, another former anchor for the media giant. Robbie plays a fictional character named Kayla Pospisil, who is based on real women who were brave enough to tell their stories. John Lithgow is unrecognizable as Ailes and turns in a performance that should have been recognized as one of the best of the year as well.
The film starts off with Kelly’s 2016 feud with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. From there, you spend equal time with the three leads as they fight to climb the Fox News ladder while the system appears to be against them the whole time.
“Bombshell’s” strongest moments come in the form of either real testimonials or chilling real moments. At one point, you hear real audio of women describing the torment that they faced at the hands of Ailes.
Strong moments are also found within the interaction between the leads. Robbie and Theron have a powerful exchange towards the end of the film where they discuss if they have a responsibility to protect one another. I can’t ignore the chilling scene between Ailes and Pospisil either, I personally wanted to crawl under my seat while watching.
While the film is strong overall, it does have its flaws. “Bombshell’s” biggest issue revolves around the women it wants you to root for. To be clear, no one, man or woman, deserves to go through to torment that these women faced. However, something about rooting for Megyn Kelly feels odd. Especially when the film glosses over some of Kelly’s dark comments from the past. I don’t feel as if the film should focus heavily on any mistakes the women might have made, but to ignore it entirely seems wrong. It would have helped to touch on at least some of Kelly’s past to make her seem even more human.
Overall, I think that everyone should watch “Bombshell” at some point. While you may be stuck on the idea of it being a story about Fox News, remember that things like this continue to happen all around the world. This story was a turning point for the “Me Too” movement, and it’s very well told. It deserves to be seen and hopefully will shed light on these issues for years to come.