I didn’t know if I was going to like ‘Bombshell,’ but of course I wanted to see it, if only for the performances, especially the three female leads, who are all favorites of mine. And to be honest, while watching the film, I did not know who to sympathize with, especially because I think almost all the characters here are despicable. Charlize Theron is great as Megyn Kelly, but I still cannot for the life of me feel for her – I don’t know if I can shake off the baggage that comes with her – this is, after all, a woman who thinks ‘Will and Grace’ influences kids to be gay and also that Santa Claus can not be black. Watching this film is kind of like watching your enemies implode and fight each other. I don’t think I have spent more than a minute watching Fox News, and just the sight of its logo makes me want to vomit. Still, Jay Roach has directed a film that mostly entertains, even as it is flawed. First of all, I am just not a fan of the cutesy gimmicks used here, like Theron as Kelly breaking the fourth wall to address the audience. I don’t think it needed it, but I understand why – they want people to have some kind of kinship with Kelly, probably they know she is unlikable enough already? But yes, the performances here are worth seeing – as I said Theron nails Megyn Kelly down to the deep sultry voice, and Nicole Kidman is great as Gretchen Carlson. Margor Robbie, as a composite character, gives the film a little heart, but I detested the character to begin with, so it didn’t really capture me – though that’s not Robbie’s fault. In the end, I just did not have an emotional connection with the movie.
I am obviously not a mother, so I had doubts as to whether I could relate to ‘Tully.’ And I was kind of right, since I was watching the film with a bit of indifference. For me, it felt just a little too ordinary, although I admit the situation probably feels extraordinary to someone who is experiencing it. I was going to write the film off as just one of those women movies – no offense, but just not for me. Then there comes that twist at the end – it’s sly and will catch you by surprise, like a train that just knocks you over and you think, ‘did that just happen,’ and you realize it just did.
That’s the brilliance of this film – it catches you by surprise. It had that element of tender shock and I left the theater thinking about it, trying to explain it to myself, asking myself what the whole thing really meant. And I am even more in awe of Charlize Theron as an actress – this woman is fearless and I curiously have not really seen her in a lot of things. I know I saw ‘Young Adult’ but for the life of me don’t remember anything about it. But she is unforgettable here, as Marlo, who goes down and dirty as a mother of two as she goes through giving birth to her third. Marlo is stressed, frustrated, but her character never really feels entitled or unsympathetic, and Theron injects Marlo with a down-to-earth sense of humor that further grounds the character. You may not truly love her, but you understand her. When Marlo gets a night nanny (Mackenzie Davis) you do kind of wonder, is there such a thing? But then the situation just sucks you into it instantly, and well, I won’t want to put any more spoilers but suffice it to say, teh nanny becomes an important part of the film, and Marlo’s life.
I recommend this, and sad to see it really hasn’t done very well at the box-office. I guess this kind of film really is difficult to market. I bet, though, that it will find its audience. You just have to give it a chance.