The Assistant - 3/5

June 6, 2020

From the very beginning, the film makes you feel like a voyeur looking into the day in the lives of people who work in a toxic work culture. With no score, and a script that is minimal, the harrowing tale of this #MeToo drama unfolds effortlessly giving you chills whenever an uncomfortable scene happens.

Within the first few minutes of the film, we meet Jane played by Julia Garner. It's her first day at a new firm, where she reports to a boss who is a misogynist pig and a sexual abuser. 

Her role is to be the assistant; she makes copies of documents, makes coffee, and pretty much does his dirty work. As the film's storyline unravels, Jane realises that her boss is a horrible person to work for. She tries to speak out, but is immediately shut down. The film ends shortly. 

When we have a look at some of the films that have covered the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace, there has been a very confronting elements to it. In the most recent 'Bombshell' the topic forces you to witness the horrors of what it is like to be a female in the workforce. While the raw nature of this film, could have added some serious weight to the topic, the film falls slightly flat and should have gone the extra mile. The direction could have made viewers feel more uncomfortable, but writer and director Kitty Green misses the mark; not completely, but the finish product could have had more impact.  

Having said that, there are some pros in this film that is worth mentioning. Julia Garner is a standout in this film. She is currently climbing the Hollywood ladder, and being in projects where she gets to show off her acting chops. While this film maybe somewhat forgettable, her performance is one that saves this film entirely. She works her best with what she is given, which is the sign of a talented actress. 

Matthew McFadyen is the second best aspect of this film. While only being in it for about 10 minutes or less, his role as the HR head was hard-hitting and messed up. That one scene was very powerful and makes you think of the power and influence Hollywood has. In fact, it is this one scene that sums up what the movie is trying to achieve - which I took away as the pointlessness of speaking out against Hollywood power structures. 

Would I recommend this film? It is worth the watch to see Julia Garner take on yet another remarkable performance. Luckily, it is also not too long. 

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© A blog about movies...by Saj