Bombshell: A Simple Word or Sexist Name

By Melina Giorgalletou

Bombshell, starring well-known actresses Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron and released in 2019 can be viewed on Amazon Prime in the comfort of your own home. Bombshell, a term also used for a very attractive woman, was purposely chosen as the title for the movie ridicule men’s exploitation of women by sexually assaulting them and calling them names that are degrading. Directed by Jay Roach, the movie is intended to tell the actual events of the women at Fox News and their horrible experience of sexual assault and manipulation in the workplace. The assault was mostly inflicted by, media giant, Roger Ailes whom the women exposed for his actions towards his employees and suing him for it. The movie was, also, filmed in Los Angeles, California but the Fox News Headquarters that the movie shows is in New York City.

This movie strives to show the importance of speaking up and not falling a victim to hungry men. Bombshell, in my opinion, should be viewed by every person out there, male or female, young or old, as it offers a message to important to be ignored by anyone. The story is focused on Megyn Kelly, the woman looked up on the most at Fox News, one of the strongest women in the media world that even had the courageous capacity to question Trump publicly about his reputation with women. The woman that got the rest of them to speak up first was Gretchen Carlson, the one who stood up to Ailes and sued him personally.

The movie rotates from one female of the three to the next and how her story relates to the rest of them and to the downfall of Roger Ailes. Bombshell is one of the most important movies out there right now, with the director attempting to expose the power-hungry and dominating men of the media industry that take advantage of their power to manipulate women. This started with the #MeToo movement in 2017 and it still ongoing with the exposure of men like this every day.

Before watching this movie, I was aware of a scandal that erupted in the Fox News world. Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson were figures I knew by name and by face but never by story. Kayla Pospisil a fictional composite created by screenwriter Charles Randolph, was an interesting addition to the film because it brought a younger and beautiful girl into the arms of Roger Ailes to show us that the harassment was still ongoing unless any of the older victims spoke up. The female roles were perfectly cast for the parts and the important characters that they

were meant to play brought high expectations for the film. I expected the women to be emotional, strong, hungry for justice, with a thirst for vengeance and a need to protect each other. This is exactly what I expected and saw happen in the film. Megyn Kelly (played by Charlize Theron) was hesitant to comply with Carlson’s wishes to accuse their boss of inappropriateness. However, after she saw Kayla Pospisil enter Ailes room at one of the scenes of the movie, she knew she had to stand up and help the younger generation in danger of the going through what Kelly and Carlson had experienced and still do experience. My expectations for female empowerment were reached and my questions, thought of before watching, were answered. Questions like “Why did the women not speak up earlier?” “How did Ailes cover up his tracks?” “What happened after Carlson accused and sued him?” “Why did the women stay on with Fox?” Public humiliation. This is something reporters and journalists cannot endure during their career or else it will risk future job opportunities and promotions. They did what they thought was best for them: not speak up. Until Gretchen Carlson had had enough.

The directing was on point, the camera crisp, clear and smooth on the actors’ skin and the music was complying with the emotion aimed to provoke. It had slow-fading music that made the transition from one scene to the next easy and unnoticeable. It needed more music at some crucial, emotional points but overall the soundtrack was an incentive to provoke feeling successfully. The images were sharp and the actors’ voices very clear with professional directing. It had a lot of medium close ups with an eye-level angle on the actors with a clear focus on the main characters.

The movie was such an inspiration to the true events of the downfall of Roger Ailes. It gave women hope that even powerful and influential men, like Roger Ailes, can be stopped. One of the best scenes of the movie was the elevator scene when three of the victims of Ailed had been invited to his office. The oldest victim, Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson another one of his victims fired because she was strong enough to speak up, and latest and youngest victim, Kayla Pospisil all walked in the elevator one by one, side by side in the where slowly they realized they were all going to the predator’s floor. They all knew what that meant, what repulsive things he was famed for doing and what each one had to endure. One of the first victims walking with one of the latest. It was the most dramatic moment of the movie and one that leaves a lasting impact until the end of the movie. It taught me how traumatic sexual harassment at work can be. By the way all three women looked at each other, the trauma and sadness in their eyes, proved how

destructive sexual harassment can be on women. It taught me how vital it is to speak up when injustice takes place. We especially have to speak up when people manipulate others through by using of their social class or power. What surprised me was how strong the women were (figures that appear as role models to us now) and how determined they were to support each other, even though it took them some time to make the decision to do so.

The movie successfully moves you and fuels a passion for justice inside of you. Both genders should watch the movie so that they become more aware of the signs of harassment and assault, but also the consequences. This movie, overall, was an excellent expression of injustice and unfair manipulation of women driving a need of women to act against such treatment.

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