Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★½

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN has been one of my most anticipated films for months now due to so many positive reviews and discussion around it. Now that I’ve seen it, I have to say that I’m kind of disappointed. I liked it, but I didn’t love it like I was hoping to.

First off, here are the aspects that I really liked: Carey Mulligan’s amazing (and perhaps best) performance, a soundtrack that I could listen to on repeat for hours, it has a very stylish look, and Bo Burnham’s performance.

There are two main aspects that didn’t work for me. Firstly, the abrupt tonal shifts were off-putting at times, and while this film contains multiple genres, there wasn’t a natural or seamless transition between them. Secondly, there seemed to be some perspective and focus lost throughout. We’re not sure what Cassie was doing to the predatory men she was picking up weekly at the bars (A stern talking to? Make them feel ashamed? Inflict violence on them?). Then it switches over to the “rape-revenge story” (which it’s not) but even that seems to lack focus. What is the goal - hurt those involved? Get them to apologize for their part in it? Take down the system that allowed it, and the aftermath events to happen? Maybe it’s a little bit of them all as Cassie is a loose cannon while dealing with her grief and anger for not being there to protect her friend, the original victim.

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