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She Said Is A Powerful Film About The Women Who Sparked The Me Too Movement
The Me Too movement is one of the biggest social revolutions of the 21st century and a story published in The New York Times in 2017 was the spark that started it (this is a link to it if you’re interested to read it after reading this review or watching the movie). She Said is the story of how two journalists exposed the sexual abuse and harassment committed by Harvey Weinstein, which led to the Me Too movement becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
I’m going to be honest here. Like most people, what I know about the Me Too movement came mostly from social media and news articles. I never knew how much blood, sweat and tears went into the original story that exposed Harvey Weinstein. Until now, that is.
She Said highlights the struggle, of two journalists, Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), and of what it took for the story to come to light. Mulligan and Kazan are the MVPs of the movie as the two protagonists, but they are bolstered by the likes of Patricia Clarkson and Andre Braugher as their editors. The movie features incredible performances from the cast, especially those portraying the victims of Harvey Weinstein. It’s harrowing and heartbreaking seeing these women relive their past trauma. It’s even more intense when the movie feature scenes that actually play the real and authentic audio recordings of Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting interactions with these women. These are played over lingering shots of hotel hallways and hotel rooms, which makes it all feel even more sinister and ominous.
Speaking of Harvey Weinstein, it was an appropriate choice not to fully cast him as a character in this movie. In She Said, Harvey Weinstein is depicted mostly via audio from phone calls, where he’s voiced by Mike Houston. Meanwhile, actress Ashley Judd plays herself in the movie (as she was really one of the first people to come forward in the original New York Times report), though we don’t see much of her as the movie focuses on the other women and victims of Harvey Weinstein, which includes amazing performances by Jennifer Ehle and Angela Yeoh as Laura Madden and Rowena Chiu, respectively.
One thing that perhaps brings down the movie is how the story is not yet over. While it’s nice that some of the actual women who spoke with the Times are able to play themselves, including Ashley Judd who was the first woman to go on the record in 2017 with her account of Weinstein’s harassment, the story is not over. Weinstein is in prison now—and awaiting further trials in California—but the “reckoning” in Hollywood and beyond remains unfinished, and the systems that have been “reckoned” do not feel as wholly transformed as She Said’s denouement optimistically suggests.
She Said is an engrossing and absorbing tale of the origins of the global Me Too Movement, and the fall of Harvey Weinstein. This movie feels very grounded and emotional without going through forced sensationalism or dramatization.
Similar to previous investigative journalism movies like Spotlight and All The President’s Men, She Said gives us a look into the persistence and perseverance of investigative journalism. It is ultimately inspiring to see the integrity and dedication of the journalists and their editors, as well as the strength and will of those who spoke out against Harvey Weinstein.
We received an early screener of She Said courtesy of United International Pictures Malaysia. She Said is slated to premiere on 24 November 2022 in Malaysian cinemas.
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