I found myself nodding my head and whispering “yes” throughout this whole movie, and it was awesome.
Promising Young Woman is a film directed by Emerald Fennell and produced by/starring Carey Mulligan about a tragedy-stricken woman turned vigilante getting revenge on the men who can’t keep their hands to themselves and the people around that enable them. When the film started, it was going down a really obvious “preachy” road, but it quickly turns into a thriller-esque wild ride and I never really knew which direction it was going down next. It made for a really exciting ride that also had some powerful messages.
The cast in this film is spectacular. Carey Mulligan as our main character, Cassandra, is almost unrecognizable as she is not the posh sweetheart we have come to know her as, but a woman who has been through considerable trauma and guilt and who’s put up walls to protect herself. I could gush about the whole cast, but the other standouts for me are Jennifer Coolidge and Bo Burnham as Cassandra’s mom and old classmate. I’ve always loved Jennifer Coolidge, but she always gets stuck playing shallow characters. Here she is able to have some true emotional range and play a character with quirks instead of just being a quirk. Bo Burnham on the other hand brought some much appreciated levity to what could be a really harsh and disturbing film. He’s hilarious and is also so natural in the film. The casting in Promising Young Woman feels so fresh, as I feel some casting risks were taken, but not one actor/actress feels out of place.
Another amazing thing about this film is how beautiful it is. The colors are so vibrant and everything has a clubby neon look to it. The set design is also super interesting, specifically Cassandra’s parent’s house. It has a very…uh…unique style to it but I also see what the decor style is trying to say. You can tell that everything has been placed for a reason. The soundtrack also adds to the setting, as it is completely female-driven and totally rockin’. I think it is in the trailer as well, but the instrumental version of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” towards the end of the film is so cool and gives me serious Us vibes.
I don’t know if there is anything bad I can say about this film. The filmmaking is amazing, the cast is amazing, the story is amazing, the end is amazing. All amazing. My only hesitation is that I feel this film would be very triggering for any woman that has been a victim of rape and/or sexual abuse. The film does not tread lightly when talking about these things, which I appreciate so it can get it’s point across, but I wouldn’t want anyone to get something they didn’t bargain for when they see the film.