Film Review – Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman (MA)

Directed by: Emerald Fennell

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Exploring the domino effect of trauma, guilt and revenge, Promising Young Woman is a thoughtful, stylish, darkly comedic and, dare I say fun, take down of “good guys” in a post Me Too world.

Despite once being on the path to a flourishing medical career, Cassandra (Carey Mulligan) is now a 30 year old loner who still lives with her folks and has a dead end job serving coffee.

But on weekends, she goes out to pubs and clubs, acts legless drunk until a “nice guy” escorts her to his house and tries some non-consensual moves on her non-responsive body. Then she strikes with her own form of revenge.

We eventually learn that a trauma from her past put her on this path and she will keep going until she exacts revenge on those who caused it.

While bathing her film in deliciously bright colours and an infectiously sugary pop soundtrack, writer/director Emerald Fennell makes some sharply pointed observations and comments about the lasting impacts of trauma caused by men. And how some women are complicit. This is some damning commentary and food for thought delivered with dark humour and wrapped up in eye candy.

Promising Young Woman bucks expectations at every turn – despite its own visually stylish aesthetic, this is based fairly firmly in reality, not a giddy blood spattered Kill Bill style revenge fantasy story. And the ending will leave you stunned into speechlessness.

Carey Mulligan is in top form as the sly, chameleon-like, revenge-seeking Cassandra, showing us one of her best performances to date. But she is surrounded by a stellar cast including Bo Burnham, Allison Brie, Laverne Cox and Adam Brody.

This is possibly the most fun you will have while dealing with such a serious topic as sexual assault.

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