Oscar’s review published on Letterboxd:
good lord, i feel like i've just been thrown into a tumble dryer. how do i put the barrage of feelings i feel for this movie into words?
it somehow manages to be one of the most uncomfortable movies i've seen in a while without showing anything explicit while simultaneously being one of the funniest movies i've seen recently that never made me laugh aloud.
i have no idea if that makes any sense but that's honestly the only real way i can articulate the flurry of emotions you're hit with once everything comes together. the beauty of this movie's constant rug-pulls and story subversion's is how it intentionally keeps finding new ways to lose you and then immediately grab you right back. there were so many points where i was starting to hate the movie and the lead character, Cassie, until it revealed its hand and i started to love it again, which is such a bizarre and difficult balancing act to pull off that i can see some people just flat out hating it, but for me it worked wonderfully.
i think the marketing played a big part in confusing some people on what this film was doing; it definitely played up the revenge aspect of things and while that's certainly a huge theme in the film, i think there's more going on here in regards to the more nuanced commentary on rape culture that worked more for me, ESPECIALLY after suffering through 2019's Black Christmas remake.
that said, i don't want to undermine those who understood the intent of this movie and still didn't like it, because i can certainly see that point of view as well.
what makes this work as well as it does is its refusal to tackle the issue as black and white. this ain't a "Kill All Men," flick like the trailers might have you believe. Cassie's revenge isn't gender oriented, and it makes for a uniquely subtle take and stance on the issue that promotes way more discussion and actually leaves you thinking about the film long after you've seen it.
the entire cast is pretty fantastic here, with the obvious standout being Carey Mulligan, who is just so fuckin' fantastic in everything she does that it hurts. what i love about her character, Cassie, is that she isn't some flawless femme fatale that manages to execute her plans without a hitch; more often than not, things go very wrong for her and it raises the stakes to a considerable degree until you realize that you're tense every time she's on-screen.
you don't know how far she's going to go in exacting her revenge until the very end, and it makes the tension almost unbearable until an ending that again, made me hate the movie for like 5 minutes until it won me over right before the credits.
one sentiment you'll see shared by many people is that they weren't sure if they loved or hated this movie, and again, you can really only understand that mindset if you strap yourself in and check it out for yourself. as for me? this movie made me deeply unsettled and it kept making me hate it before pulling me back in and making me love it.
it's so fucking good, i hated it, one of the best films of 2020. 4 stars. eat it !!