On Friday, the viewers are exposed to brilliant performances by Australian actress Margot Robbie, 29, when she enters the silver screen in two very different films.
In Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), she takes the lead role in the boots of super-villain Harley Quinn, once a partner of the Joker, now a solo vigilante.
In Bombshell, Robbie plays Kayla Pospisil, a fictional manifestation of the sexual victims of the late Fox News leader Roger Ailes (John Lithgow). She’s a nominee for her performance in the Oscars 2020. (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role).
Fan letter to Tarantino
Robbie’s career began over a decade ago by starring in Australian soap opera Neighbours. She was just 17.
After moving to America, her uprising to one of the most sought out actresses in the game started after nailing the part of the lusty wife of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).
In 2015, she was the femme fatale in Focus alongside Will Smith. The following year, she played Tanya Vanderpoel, a feisty BBC correspondent with a wonderful British accent in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Soon, she was Jane alongside the Swedish Tarzan Alexander Skarsgård followed by the first immersion into Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. In 2017, Robbie charmed the critics in the Oscar-winning tale I, Tonya, a complex and deep tale of an ice skater.
In between films, she started her own production company with the aim of bringing female talent on the screen.
Then interestingly, after sending a fan letter to Quentin Tarantino, the director cast her in the critically acclaimed Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019). (Ok. She had an audition, too, and turns out she was perfect for the role of tragic actress Sharon Tate).
In Birds of Prey, she exposes yet another part of her chameleon quality. Robbie’s Harley Quinn is an energetic whacko, a fierce master of combat. Robbie transforms all these qualities into tangible presence, and the viewer is carried away simply enjoying the ride. It’s part of Robbie’s forte to make the most complex character—even from the opposite spectrum—to feel real and relatable.
Overall, the film is abundant with interesting performances. Rosie Perez, for example, is funny as a cop who learned her lines by watching ‘80s cop series on TV.
Last but not least, Birds of Prey should not be compared to the grim Joker, released last year. That would be like drawing parallels to a roller coaster and the Horror Chamber of the medieval castle in Rakvere.
Bombshell, directed by Jay Roach (Trumbo (2015), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), shines a light on the women who as employees of the Fox News head Roger Ailes experienced sexual harassment of various degrees. Aile’s motto is that directing news production is like steering a boat, which will turn left if unattended. The women too, it seems, should be controlled to satisfy his lust. At the very least, they should twirl in his office, so that he can get a 360-degree view.
While Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman portray mature women, who have decided to aim to stop Aile’s actions for good, Robbie portrays a young woman in her 20’s with a Christian upbringing and naive vision on career advancement under Aile’s leadership.
She’s a bombshell, the word Robbie’s said hating in various interviews.
The innocence Robbie brings into the story is heartfelt; there are scenes that will make you shiver in your seat.
Overall, Bombshell is bound to raise disgust, but also tears and perhaps most importantly awareness with a clear message:
Evil can be subdued with action.