Promising Young Woman – Movie Review

Directed by : Emerald Fennell

Written by : Emerald Fennell

Starring : Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, and Connie Britton

Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell, shines with her feature directorial debut with Promising Young Woman, a story that follows Cassie (Carey Mulligan) – a woman traumatized by her past, and vows to take revenge on the men who wronged her.

Some might label Promising Young Women as a black-comedy, the truth is there isn’t anything comedic about it at all. Promising Young Woman is a harrowing, and frankly heartbreaking depiction of a woman dealing with survivor’s remorse in a world dominated by rape culture.

Throughout the film, we see Cassie getting drunk on purpose – making herself seemingly defenseless and ripe for the taking for potential rapists, and then when Cassie decides that it’s finally time for these men to face their reckoning – like the flick of the switch, she becomes the very thing that horrifies every rapist to ever walk the earth; a sober woman.

Despite the tragic nature of the film, it’s Fennell’s ability to lead us – the audience – into a path of bitterness and tragedy with Cassie’s predicament, only to then to turn it around by providing Cassie a glimmer of hope that really keeps us engaged with the story.

All of this, the emotional roller coaster propelled by Fennell’s exceptionally tight script – her ability to keep the narrative intact despite the frequent change in tone – Carey Mulligan’s eclectic performance and her ability to ride the line between lethally cunning, and sympathetic – build to one hell of a crescendo in the ending, and one that’ll stay with audiences when they look back on the films of 2020.

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