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Art & Entertainment

"She Said," An Important Tale with a Stale Film

JoHoward contributor

Source: Jakayla Toney via Unsplash

A film with good intentions that falls short in execution.

"She Said" tells the story of the investigative journalism that uncovered the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. While the film covers an important topic, it falls short in many aspects.

The film feels sterile and lacks a cinematic quality. It doesn't have the emotional punch that a story of this magnitude demands.

The stakes aren't portrayed as very high, and the film fails to explain the few threats the team is facing. For example, what if Ronan Farrow's article came out first? Why is the New York Times pushing so hard to break the story without corroboration? We don’t know.

As a result, the tension and drama that could have been present in the film are missing.

The acting in the film is adequate, but the directing feels stilted. There's a lack of depth and complexity to the characters, which could have been further explored to give the film more weight. But almost all of the women in the story were soft and sad, when they are much stronger and resilient in real life. Can they cry? Of course! But it was… everyone.

It got to the point where one character was so emotionally struck due to working on the sex abuse story, that I assumed she was secretly the victim who the film opened with and it would be revealed later. (She was not, but that type of added drama is what this movie desperately needed.)

The movie also tried to paint a picture of “women trying to have it all” with their family and careers but the film is touch-and-go with heavy topics like PPD early-on which are dropped entirely and unexplored by the end of the film.

While the film does attempt to showcase the hard work and courage of the journalists who broke the story, it feels flat and doesn't capture the gravity of the situation. At most, the reporters took phone calls, flew to England one time, and had a bunch of dinners with people. This felt like a dramatic recreation shared on “Dateline”, rather than a film.

Finally, the pacing of the film is slow, which makes it hard to stay engaged. While it's commendable that the filmmakers took the time to tell this story, it doesn't make for a captivating viewing experience.

Probably the worst fault of the film is that the VERY real recordings of victims used throughout aren’t denoted as real at all. There’s a line here that’s being blurred between fiction and reality, while the ACTUAL Hollywood victims also appear in the film (often as voice-only cameos).

Overall, "She Said" is a film with good intentions but falls short in execution. It's a missed opportunity to tell an important story with the necessary tension and drama it deserves.

"She Said" is streaming now on Peacock. Let us know what your thought!

#film, #movie, #she_said, #new_york_times, #review