Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Damn fire alarm went off 5 minutes in. Ruined my date.

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Just kidding, I don't go on dates. Good movie though, glad to see Carey Mulligan again, should watch more of her work.

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Back again, here now with some more thoughts conjured overnight at work. If there are any egregious spelling errors that's becasue I cut my finger open pretty badly the other day and have been covering it with many, many band-aids.

Anyway I reckon this is pretty well written, a few elements emerged that upon reflection stood out as significant strengths. Some minor, some major, all working to elevate this above a cardboard cut-out revenge flick.

Some careful dialogue choices prevented this from become preachy. I was specifically thinking about how Wonder Woman 1984's dialogue was written in a way intended to ensure there was no way the audience could miss what was happening. Think back to the first fight with Diana and Barbara, almost every line Diana has is repurposed as a question by Barbara and shot back. Yes, it's a studio film and this more indie, but I find that writing incredibly annoying, partly due to its predictability, but mostly due to my percepetion that those particular wrirters think their audience is slow. But here, the main ideas are laergely left lingering in the air after being spoken. I'm specifically thinking about the "we were just kids" line that is often repeated. By restraining oneself from explaining ideas through characters, the audience is then invited (or sometimes challenged) to figure it out themselves.

Perspectives are also handled pretty well here. I wonder how many people will give Cassie's parents much thought, or Nina's for that matter. In fact, Nina's story is left so basic (for lack of a better term) for the majority of the film (and even when the credits roll) the audience is once again invited to piece together a few key things. Where is Nina's Dad? (In all honesty I may have missed that.) When speaking about perspectives, what do Cassie's parents think about her, we know they don't know much about her. What was Ryan's 'plan'? He knew about Nina and his own involvement, right? Nothing is explicitly said.

I'll also say that the predictability of it all played well into my experience. The two key pieces were there, Ryan and Cassie were both at med school, there were 7 others there that night. As audience members, we can put two and two together, but Cassie seems unable to (blinded by the eventual opportunity of a long term relationship?), so the question of what she'll do when she finds out lingers in the air. How far will she go, what exactly is she willing to do? It's a clever way to build suspense, and was paid off surprisingly well by showcasing her lasting restraint even when everything has seemingly crumbled down around her. It was at this point that it hit me that she's never really done anything wrong in her revenge quest.

Keen to dive back in at a later date. I'm thinking this one will stick with me. Good puzzle.

Braden liked this review