Promising Young Woman is an insane revenge story, taking an intrepid look at rape culture, but errs more cynical than triumphant.
Hollywood is collectively making efforts to portray stories about sexual harassment, assault, and rape, showing their support for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
Promising Young Woman Synopsis!
This revenge thriller, by writer-director Emerald Fennell, in her feature-length directorial debut, set out institutions that protect rapists and the delusion of the “nice guy” with an unflinching eye.
In Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan gives a creditable and masterful, worthy performance as Cassie Thomas. Cassie, a med school dropout in her 30s who works in a coffee shop with her friend Gail (Laverne Cox) by day. At night, Cassie wanders around local clubs pretending to be a drunk on the verge of passing out. A random guy offers to drop her home safely, only to bring her back to their place. When he tries to have sex with her despite her hammered state, she drops the act.
As the movie goes on, Cassie’s reasons for the two-facedness and why she dropped out of med school become clear. An opportunity for revenge walks through the door for Cassie when old classmate Ryan (Bo Burnham) comes into the coffee shop and asks her out.
The final scene, at the rapist’s wedding, has an unexpected development of events. The wedding goes downhill because as a backup plan Cassandra prepared for her death and sent the video of the rapist raping her friend to every single person.
It’s a well-scripted film. The film flows on dark humor and drama spills out. It manages to balance the tragic and comic elements really well. The new plot wherein the main character isn’t a direct victim of rape herself but has a lot of love and empathy for her friend and never got past her unjust death is really appreciable.
Burnham proves he can carry a film like this, holding his own opposite Mulligan, and doing a wicked lip-sync job on a pop music classic. As for Mulligan, she’s phenomenal again. She almost always is. Cassie is a really tough part. It is the kind that would have stymied other actresses into pushing into camp; the kind of balancing act that people will underrate.
But the trailer definitely threw us and a lot of viewers are going to be extremely angered. The fact that the rapist is “exposed” at the very end isn’t vindictive and justifiable. Everything that came before pretty much sustains that nothing bad happens to rapists and there is no justice.