Promising Young Woman is one of the most surprising films of the year. Not just because of its award worthy performances, and not because of its terrific story line, but because it doesn’t hesitate to call out the men who take advantage of woman and say loudly and proudly “The men who have done things like this need to be held accountable!”– regardless of how it might “ruin their lives” because they have taken something from the women they have hurt, something that cannot be given back. If you disagree that men who rape and take advantage of women in distress should be held accountable for something that “happened a long time ago”: YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.
The film follows Cassy (Carey Mulligan), who on the surface seems to be a mild-mannered slacker, working at a coffee shop and living with her parents at 30 years old, but Cassy has a secret. At night she goes to bars and pretends to be too drunk to get home, and every time some sleazy guy comes up to her, offers to take her home and every time, they try to take advantage of her. When they take her to their place, she confronts them completely sober. She marks the times she does this in a notebook. It is alluded to throughout the movie that she dropped out of medical school with her best friend, but why they dropped out is not clear until near the end of the film. When she runs into an old friend from when she was in medical school (Bo Burnham), she starts to see him romantically. He seems too perfect to be real, which is not really the case.
One of the few criticisms I have of the movie is that it doesn’t clarify if she kills these men who try to take advantage of her. In the film after she confronts these men, she makes a tally mark in a notebook. Sometimes she marks in red, others it’s in blue and black, and it isn’t explained what the significance is of the colors of the ink.
All that aside, it’s nice to see a modern film that doesn’t rely on weak jokes, ridiculous, meaningless violence or CGI to make it interesting. Promising Young Woman is simply put, a fantastic and gritty drama that keeps the audience engaged while also making compelling commentary on modern social issues that face women everyday.
I give the film 9.5/10 Lanterns
One thought on “‘Promising Young Woman’: An absolute must-see Film”
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