Performance wise, it is very naturalistic overall and there were only a few moments with the big boss (Jamie Lee-Hill) who verged on being a somewhat pantomimic caricature of a big bad sexist. However, there are some elements that feel as if they are missing. For one, their office is a very white environment. However, both our main character and her boss Anna (Yulia Romanova) have migrated from other parts of the world to work in this London branch, yet only their gender is mentioned as being a barrier to progression. However, as we are all coming to learn, the world is intersectional. So not only will they have to face gender bias, but also the potential biases that come from being a migrant. Both actors read relatively well and it is very refreshing to see two actors, who’s first language isn’t English, without having them be the “Other”, it’s just that within a film that seeks to address prejudice, it is short sighted to ignore the interweaving of these things.
It was a great twist, to have her boss who is a woman, be in some way complicit with the decision to promote her less accomplished male colleague (David Wayman) ahead of her. A great reminder that even if we come from an oppressed group, we can still be puppets of the system enacting those injustices out upon those who face the same hardships as us. However, it is very based in a narrative that there is one metric of success, and that we must all adhere to it, even though it was created and is upheld by those who would keep us out. So rather than redefine what success looks like, we mutilate ourselves in order to emulate and to get a approval from those above who will only allow individuals not in the “club”, just far enough to appease and cajole.
It was well executed and well performed, it just seemed as if it wasn’t saying anything wildly new or in a fresh way. We need more films to get people to think and to address their behaviours for sure and this will certainly act as a reminder, it just could have reached a little further in a more nuanced way for a 2019 audience.