Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★½

Such a frustrating movie. I really enjoyed the performances from Mullgian and Burnham but everything kind of hinges on the end here and yeah I don’t know what the thought process was exactly but it’s not at all earned and doesn’t say anything profound or nuanced about this subject matter. It’d be okay if this wasn’t so embarrassed to be a revenge thriller but Fennell takes so many steps to ensure it won’t be. Nothing about this was satisfying though it’s framed as going out on a bittersweet high note of justice being served. The conclusion for me did nothing but reveal an empty hand. You can put all the ironic needledrops you want over it but it doesn’t change the fact that the way this ends contradicts so much of what the rest of the movie was trying to say. This wants to be a movie about how the system frequently silences survivors of sexual assault and fails to deliver justice but Fennell makes the weird choice of framing the ending as having that very system deliver justice. Maybe this is supposed to be some comment on all the extreme measures women have to take for something to be done but if so why make it such a rousing moment? What was accomplished here then?

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