On December 20, a movie titled ‘Bombshell’ opens in theatres starring an A-List cast of Charlize Theron (who also produced the movie), Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Mark Duplass, Allison Janney and Connie Britton. This is not just another rom-com, or coming of age story. Based on a true story that started just recently, Bombshell tells the behind the scenes of Fox News starting with anchor’s Gretchen Carlson’s (played by Kidman) accusations of sexual harassment against then-CEO Rogers Ailes (played by Lithgow).
To be honest, that description of the film probably puts it pretty mildly actually, but this article isn’t about what happened at Fox News. It’s about the impact that this film could have on society – if society allows it. This movie takes place before the Me Too movement started, and continues the dialogue of freedom, independence, and equality of women in our modern day society. Whatever your opinion on women’s rights are/have been/will be etc, Bombshell needs to be allowed to open your mind to the power of the female mind.
“I think that’s what makes it an interesting story. It’s not as simple as a woman gets herself in a situation where she feels uncomfortable, and it’s a workplace, and that she just does the right thing from beginning to end. This is uncharted territory and the human quality, that human conflict behind it is I think what people are really connecting to in this story,” says Theron, at the LA screening of the film. “I don’t think what we’re craving is sympathy. Just hear us out. I think that’s where we originally set out to come from.”
Robbie echos the statement. “I think that’s the wonderful thing about movies, about whatever the movie might be about, but it’s just the medium is so powerful in that you can spend two hours and step into someone else’s shoes and you do create empathy with them by the end of it, and just see the world from their point of view.”
“It’s about the women who took down one of the most powerful media moguls in history,” says Robbie, who plays a fictional Fox News producer.
“For me, it’s about the misuse of power and abuse, and the way in which these women were able to stand up and speak out and actually change, start instigate a massive change. And even though, they’re very, very complicated issues that we’re dealing with, I think it’s done in a really entertaining way. But I think it’s a very accessible way. I think it’s visceral, and it’s told from the female point of view,” says Kidman.
When society is bombarding by news, mostly negative, it’s very easy to forget and move on to the next story. Movies – much like Bombshell – allow us to get further into the footsteps of the person (or character) and gives us focus and perspective, hence why this move has the potential to be powerful. If we watch it and allow ourselves to understand, embrace and put ourselves into these character’s footsteps, society’s overall thinking may be enhanced – all the while, we are still being entertained. Both can be achieved at the same time. You may agree. You may disagree. Movies like this are meant to evoke an emotion – and start a conversation. If that’s all this film does, it’s done its job.
“I think what’s been nice when we show it to people is the level of surprise that they thought they knew what the film was, and then watching it, realizing that the way we went about it was to make it not feel like you were taking medicine. The story is fascinating and we stayed on that path to the greater truth. But ultimately, we wanted to do something that felt entertaining to watch, something that you really enjoyed watching, and all of that was through character study. And I think that’s what sets this movie apart.” says Theron, who plays anchor Megyn Kelly.