24 January 2020.
BOMBSHELL (Scandale) ***1/2
It was a bombshell when back in 2016 a group of women in his offices managed to bring down the mighty Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News, because of his persistent sexual harassment towards them. Three top stars – Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie – who have the looks of bombshells, portray the main protagonists. Actually, in the beginning one has a hard time differentiating them, as all three are blond, beautiful, almost like Barbie dolls, in the style that was expected at Fox News.
But they began to grow in stature as their resentment and courage rose up against the toxic work environment that had become the secretive status-quo of that industry. And this was way before the Weinstein scandals and the now-prevalent MeToo era.
Director Jay Roach (“Trumbo”, “Austin Powers”) and Charlize Theron as producer and actress (playing top anchorwoman Megyn Kelly) have done a brilliant job of putting the available facts, along with the tensions and emotions of the protagonists, into an intelligent and gripping film.
Another version of this story called “The Loudest Voice” was recently produced as a mini-series for television starring Russell Crowe as Ailes. He picked up a Golden Globe award for his role.
Whether you’re a Fox or CNN aficionado, a strong feminist or feel that the MeToo movement has gone too far and become toxic in itself, this film is both a serious and entertaining source of thought and discussion. With three Oscar nominations, including Best Actress nomination for Theron’s incredible transformation into Megyn Kelly, this is a film not to miss.
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE **1/2
Will Smith is a natural charmer, his long-time Bad Boy partner, Martin Lawrence is a hoot, and buddy yarns are always such fun, especially when filmed in a gorgeous locale like Miami with its blue vastness, its beaches, nightclubs and stunning girls.
I would have easily given 3 *** to this latest episode with these two naughty boys who are actually in the police, for the film has a smart storyline and distinct characters. But its excessive violence doesn’t allow me to indulge my fun meter. The continuous assassinations, bloody mayhem and mass shootings that resemble the murderous videos made for youngsters make me wonder about the influence they have on innocent minds. For when exciting heroes dish out so much firepower, won’t the kids begin to believe it’s all the norm? Won’t they think that they can go out and do the same stunts and deeds? Why is the entertainment industry warping the minds of our youth, creating possible monsters for future generations…? Yes, yes, we know…profits. But when will it stop?
I know I’m going off on a tangent here, into territory of which critics should steer clear, but I cannot. For a film – especially a well made, enjoyable film – leaves an impression, a memory and a germ of an idea in the minds of its audience. It is not only entertainment, but also an influencer, often subliminal. This is big-time fun, but beware… And of the many others that are around.
PHOTOGRAPH *1/2 (vo Hindi)
After the tender and amusing “Lunch Box” by Indian director Ritesh Batra, one would have expected another delightful film.
Unfortunately, with a weak scenario, a young actress who simply does not light up the screen, and a pace that may put you to sleep, this dull love story written and directed by Batra is a disappointment indeed. Pity.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.