I had high hopes for “She Said” and was looking forward to watching the film, especially considering that what The New York Times Investigative Journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor did is central to what I want to do as a career. The pair worked together on a story about sexual assault and rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein and, with the aid of brave women who went on-record against Weinstein, contributed to Weinstein’s arrest and imprisonment as well as the birth of the #MeToo movement. One of the lead actresses in the film, Carey Mulligan, who plays Megan Twohey, also plays Daisy in “The Great Gatsby,” a favorite film of mine. So, needless to say, I was looking forward to the trip to the theater with my boyfriend on Saturday night to watch a supposedly good movie; however, I was unfortunately disappointed.
The plot was there, obviously, since it is based on true events, but it was poorly executed, to say the least. Half of the film is comprised of heart-wrenching scenes (the only ones worth watching) depicting interviews between Weinstein’s victims and the Times, while the other half of the movie is power-walking scenes of the lead characters that serve little to no purpose. I lost count of these scenes quickly as “She Said” is an over two-hour film. This is a common theme in movies that seem to cover social issues such as sexism, racism or any and all forms of other discrimination. Spending the vast majority of the $32,000,000 budget on these useless walking scenes serves as a cosmetic form of feminism instead of tackling the story at hand: the systemic abuse of women working with or under powerful men. As a woman myself, this strikes me as insulting that a film seems to pander to the idea of feminism but fails to do it justice. Making women look powerful does not support women. Showing that women are powerful does, and, unfortunately, this movie does not focus on that beyond superficiality.
The only strong dialogue comes in the form of the interviews between the Times journalists and Weinstein’s victims. These were the only compelling scenes and the only ones I was able to watch in their entirety without glancing at the clock to see when the movie was going to end. Another disappointment was the acting. The best-written dialogue simply cannot be convincing if it is poorly executed. “She Said” had both subpar dialogue and performance, and this contributed to my boredom across the entire film. It is disheartening to see movies of iconic “wins” for women have this “girl-boss” filter slapped on them and be praised for simply featuring pretty women in lead roles.