"She Said" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
The world completely changed when the allegations came out against Harvey Weinstein, accusing the world-famous producer of sexual assault in the workplace. Because of those very brave women coming forward, it started the #metoo movement, allowing countless amounts of men and women to come forward to share their stories of assault and sexual misconduct by higher-ups. Maria Schrader's 2022 film, "You People", explores those women's stories, while also bringing light to the brave journalists that shared their stories, Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan). Based off the novel written by the two journalist about their experience, this film perfectly showcases the unfortunate circumstance of sexual assault in the workplace, while also showing how strong and powerful these women are.
In 2017, hugely successful actresses like Gwenyth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, and many others accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, some leading to rape. This completely changed the social landscape to talk about how sexual abuse can change someone's life or their experience in the workplace. Because they were so brave to open up about their experiences, it inspired and allowed many others to share their experiences and how it changed their life and led them down a dark path at one time in their life. Throughout this movie, the filmmakers do an excellent job of showcasing how this affects someone who goes through this.
When you think of sexual assault, you can only imagine so much about what that person goes through, yet this film shows exactly what they went through and how much it affected them. It never shies away or tries to play it safe, leaving all of the nitty-gritty details out there for everyone to see. They even went as far to include actual audio files of Weinstein assaulting these victims, unflinchingly demonstrating how horrible these acts were. I also just want to put it out there that I applaud and celebrate the actresses who actually went on-screen in this film to share their experiences to those watching this movie, as well as those who weren't present in the film.
I think Kazan and Mulligan give fantastic performances throughout, and they really deliver on the badass qualities that these two journalists share. They show how they didn't stop at anything to get this story out, especially when they were threatened with lawsuits and by powerful men like Weinstein. Even though the movie focuses more on the women sharing their stories and the abuse they went through at the hands of the famous producer, the two main actresses are able to make these performances their own and add their own flare and style to this film.
Throughout, the movie moves at a very nice pace and doesn't slow or lose its momentum. It is able to progress thoughtfully and intentionally, showcasing each story and tale of abuse as they go throughout the film. Like I mentioned earlier, this movie doesn't shy away from the graphic depictions and descriptions of what happened to these women, and so this movie is very hard to watch and digest in a way. Perhaps that is one of the best things about this film; it feels so real and heartbreakingly honest, which is surprisingly hard to find in films like this.
The events depicted in this film changed the course of world history, and this film perfectly showcases the strength and grace that these women displayed when telling their story for the entire world to hear. This movie honors the survivors and shows the effects that these events caused not only in Hollywood, but social media all over the world. With that huge task at hand to display these events on the big screen, I think the filmmakers and actors did a fantastic job, and I couldn't imagine a better way to tell their stories in a cinematic perspective.