The MeToo movement has had such an impact on society in recent times that it appeared a matter of time before we would get films based on the harassment and bullying young women received by predatory men in power. Bombshell recently did so commendably with its retelling of the events that led to the downfall of Fox chief Roger Ailes. The same commendation however cannot be extended to The Assistant, an allegory of the Harvey Weinstein pattern that aims to provide viewers with an insight into working for a bullying and dubious movie executive.
Presented in a day-in-the-life structure, this focuses on Jane (Julia Garner) who takes on a job working as an assistant for an unseen movie mogul who we only here when he is dishing out abusive criticisms to those who appear to make mistakes. Patronised by her male colleagues who make her collect lunches and tending to phone calls from disgruntled individuals, her method is to accept that for a person in her profession, this is how it is done while on the way to the top, the lifestyle for one first in and last out. 
When she notices a young student who appears to have been taken on by the mogul, she finds herself duty bound to present her concerns to the company’s HR personnel (Quiz’s Matthew Macfadyen) which leaves her with a moral dilemma.
Whilst the idea of a film that clearly references the practices and silence that led to MeToo is welcoming, aside from a couple of sequences notably the increasingly tense meeting between Garner and Macfayden, The Assistant is not engaging enough to warrant its existence. 
Its biggest flaw comes from being too obvious with its intentions. Throughout the film, we get the impression that this is showing us what we likely suspect already and making the element of surprise void. Rather than expecting the unexpected, all we get is the expected and as a result it feels like possible real-life occurrences being composited with the end result being too dull with its allegorical intentions. 
By structuring the film over one day, it fails because this particular story feels too vague and squashed together to the point where one believes that the day-in-the-life structure is too short and the short scenes involving the errands being performed feel much longer than they are.
I felt the film missed out on a chance to become a defining work for this subject and severely lacked the ‘epic’ feel that could have made this a work to be discussed about in years to come. A style in the vein of Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic presenting three ever-changing events in the career of Jane is the sort of structure that should have been achieved. One gets the impression that the general ingredients of the film’s story could have been condensed into a shorter act that could have made part of the structure previously suggested. 
Maybe in time that film will be made featuring another veiled character referencing Weinstein or the actual man himself being portrayed; the sort of film that may just right the wrong this film displays. 

Published by thenorthwalescritic

Hello, film fans. There is room for one more critic with a difference. For anyone looking at what are the best films out there, whether to watch in cinema, streamed, DVD, TV, your choice where, I will write several film reviews each month. I will be writing these from several days to up to several weeks after their initial release because after all, just because the film comes out on a weekend, doesn't mean its only going to be seen that weekend. This will be so it won't be lost amongst the avalanche of reviews that come out on the same day. As well, there will be articles about the current climate of cinema, recommendations of some obscure movies and maybe the odd mention of some films not quite worthy of their reputation. My opinion, your decision to enter.

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