google playGoogle
app storeiOS
profile icon

She Said review: Film validates its belief that honest journalism can expose injustice, but only in bits and pieces

Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star in the portrayal of the "New York Times" exposé of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

3/5rating
She Said review: Film validates its belief that honest journalism can expose injustice, but only in bits and pieces
Still from She Said movie
  • Reema Chhabda

Last Updated: 06.40 AM, Nov 18, 2022

Share
Story:

Megan Twohey and Jodi Cantor's exposé of Harvey Weinstein's predatory behaviour appeared in The New York Times in October 2017. While everyone may already be aware of Weinstein's heinous crimes, fewer people are likely to be familiar with the accounts of his victims. Maria Schrader's film She Said aims to convey the courageous true tale of the two journalists who, despite all obstacles, helped reveal the disgraced producer for what he truly is.

Review:

The New York Times' Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) write a story detailing allegations of sexual abuse against influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in the 2 hour, 15 minute movie. The disturbing tale also acts as the catalyst for the #MeToo movement, breaking decades of taboo surrounding sexual assault, harassment, abuse, and rape at work. She Said joins movies about brave journalists destroying phone lines and breaking down doors in their pursuit of the truth as Twohey and Kantor laboriously search for proof of Weinstein's crimes.

The press coverage, following articles, and book all contain a message about the power of group testimony and teamwork; it is clear that the two reporters' combined efforts improved the quality of their work. On a film level, the dynamic combo performs less effectively. Scenes in which the two reporters collaborate feel less natural than when they do so separately because Kazan is the duo's noticeably stiffer performer. Mulligan's performance as Twohey comes across as lived-in, combustible, and instinctive, while Kazan's feels scripted. 

The film, which has been written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, has a compelling plot but falls short of making the desired impression. While certain sequences paint a portrait that is quite good at building a narrative mystery, others just leave us perplexed in spots.

She Said Review
She Said Review

The space director Maria Schrader gives the women to tell their stories is a highlight, and her level-headed focus on the nuances of the journalistic process is commendable. Despite this, "She Said" occasionally has the feel of a news segment. The cinematography of Natasha Braier is powerful, but Hansjörg Weißbrich's editing falls flat. She Said may have had a much bigger impact if it had concentrated more on the origins of the powerful #MeToo movement and less on the research's journalism background.

Verdict:

She Said is a mechanical portrayal of significant events that lacks artistic nuance. It flattens the story of victimhood, paranoia, and resilience into a journalism movie checklist.

0