Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★½

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

This review may contain spoilers.

I'm literally shaking wtf

TW// mention of rape
edit: now that I've had some time to think on it I feel like I can better explain how I feel about this, this is a very entertaining movie and Carey mulligan gives a hell of a performance but it's terribly misguided imo . It's marketed one way but the story feels like it heading in another direction as it feels more like it's about reconciling with grief and the pain of losing someone you love and not having the tools to really do that so you end up in a very toxic cycle because you're unable to heal but that's not the turn it took even though multiple scenes in the movie kind of painted that picture instead we got a revenge film which wouldn't have been a problem if only the ending and subject matter were different.
As Rachel jean turner wrote in her thesis on the rhetoric of rape-revenge films, this particular quote as it pertains to 'i spit on your grave'
"Had there been less emphasis on the constructed need for
vengeance, there would have been ample time to direct more of the focus around other
vital details that were left out of the story, such as what Jennifer did for herself
emotionally, mentally, and physically to recover from the sexual trauma aside from
formulate plans to exact revenge"
I wonder the same thing here, the focus of revenge centers on the men who were the predators instead of the women who were victims of their violence had the film took a turn into the direction it had so subtly teased earlier on it would have been a completely different film with a completely different message instead it took the approach many films of its genre take and like the many films before it serves to dehumanize the very audience it was meant for even if not intentional. I had originally given this film five stars because I was caught up in the spectacle of it all,
after reading other critiques and really analyzing the film and cross-referencing it to other films I gave five stars it didn't hold up and that's not to say its a bad film because it definitely isn't, but it failed to be what it was trying to be due to its lack of empathy.

In an effort to subvert the genre director Emerald Fennell actually plays into it, the protagonist of these rape-revenge films never win they never get the upper hand, they never get a chance to achieve normalcy onscreen

"I had to be honest," writer-director Emerald Fennell tells EW of choosing to end the rape-revenge tale with the brutal death of its protagonist, Cassie (Mulligan), at the hands of the man who sexually assaulted her former med school peer, Nina, years prior. "It’s how the system works. The house always wins. For me, it would be an enormous injustice to be so honest the whole way through this movie and then have a Hollywood ending that also let us all off the hook."