"Reel reviews: ‘Promising Young Woman’ crafts brilliant revenge from overwhelming common tragedy" by: Jessica Shepard

   With some technical issues aside at our local theater, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of “Promising Young Woman” when I caught it last week. 
   Now, I’ve been salivating for this film since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last January. 
   To put things in perspective, the premise for female revenge usually revolves around a woman losing a loved one or family at the hands of some distinct evildoer that’s often male and spending over two hours trying to tell that tale. 
   In fact, most directors spend a lot of the time padding the female lead’s backstory and motivation than the actual act of revenge. 
   Think ‘Peppermint” (2018), the “Kill Bill” movies (2003, 2004) and “The Brave One” (2007) for most of the female-centric revenge films we’ve seen. 
   Honorable mentions go to “Hard Candy” (2005), “Carrie” (1976) and “Jennifer’s Body” (2009) for the teenaged hormone-fueled versions. 
   Promising Young Woman hits hard at a millennial-aged audience with everything from scrunchies and a lame barista job to a soundtrack featuring Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. 
   It rides the “#MeToo” tide with enough efficiency and emotional investment that it’s hard to look away because almost all women can relate to being or knowing someone who was taken advantage of by a “nice guy.” 
   There are so many layers to this film and I’m just fighting the urge to give it another view or four. 
   Promising Young Woman is a thriller film directed, written, and co-produced by Emerald Fennell, in her feature directorial debut. 
   It clocks in at 113 minutes long and is rated R for strong violence including sexual assault, language throughout, some sexual material, and drug use. 
   The film stars Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, Chris Lowell, Alfred Molina, and Connie Britton. 
   Cassie Thomas (Mulligan) lives with her parents and works at a coffee shop. 
   She previously attended medical school, but dropped out after her friend Nina was raped and nobody believed her. 
   Nina later committed suicide and every weekend Cassie goes to bars and pretends to be extremely intoxicated. 
   Every time a man takes her home and tries to take advantage of her, she confronts them about their behavior and writes their names down in a notebook. 
   A former classmate of Cassie’s, Ryan Cooper (Burnham), sees her at the coffee shop and asks her out. 
   Though reluctant to get close to him, she starts dating him, taking things slowly at first. 
   Ryan later runs into Cassie at a bar as she is luring a man home and breaks things off with her, believing she was not interested in him. 
   Cassie later apologizes and they reconcile, entering a formal relationship. 
   Cassie meets with her former friend Madison (Brie), who did not believe Nina when she said she was raped. 
   Cassie gets her drunk, hires a man to take her to his hotel room, and then ignores her calls asking what happened that night. 
   It gets more bizarre and twisted from there while Cassie is acting as an instrument of karma for everyone who ruined Nina’s life – and by extension her own. 
   Just wait until you get to the end, there’s a nice little twist there!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet