09/101. Promising Young Woman (2020)
Dir.: Emerald Fennell
Despite great editing, competent performances and a beautiful art direction; just as its protagonist, this film is nothing more than promising. It has a good premise, but one that’s executed very badly.
And, let’s be honest, maybe that’s a problem of the entire subgenre os “female revenge”. I’m sorry for the fans, but it is anguishing to realize how most of these movies approach trauma, abuse and violence against women from a standpoint of badly written character, which ends up making big disfavors for the cause it’s supposedly preaching, an alienation of what they’re trying to critique.
With the exception of Shoshanna, the Bride and maybe Lady Vengeance, these characters are generally borderline insane and have a very distorted sense of justice, which fails in making the audience empathize. Their motivations are delegitimized because of their obsession (read: “shallow script”) that becomes continuously more nonsense as the narrative goes on.
In this iteration, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) is a Medicine student with a promising future, but ends up dropping out after her best friend is sexually abused by a group of college boys. After that traumatic experience, she keeps a double life, working on a café by daytime and going out for “hunts” by night. As a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, Cassie pretends to be drunk, almost unconscious, to bait men who try to take advange of her supposed vulnerability, and then… she “takes revenge”.
Promising Young Woman is irresponsable to the point of creating an atmosphere of sympathy towards the men against whom Cassie wants to take revenge. If the intent was putting us on a moral dilemma, it fails miserably. And if it wanted to shoot for some acid humor, it didn’t fare well.
I’m sorry to say that the highest point of the experience is listening to Toxic on violin. If I didn’t have the compromise of writing about the film, this is only and excatly what I would like to say about it. 🐋
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