Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★★★

Promising Young Woman was one of the most anticipated films of 2020 for me, if not, the most because I enjoyed seeing films tackling serious subject manners in such complexities that pertain to real-life situations that get people talking for a bit. It also would give me an introduction to Emerald Fennell as a director/writer who’s known for being the showrunner for the second season of Killing Eve that I haven’t seen. When I first watched the film, it got me so fucked up with my good friend that we both were like, “Yeah, we’re watching this again with our significant other.” So on the next day after Christmas Day, I brought my girlfriend in to watch this to see what she thought of it and how we’ll talk about this in an analytical manner. So when rewatching Promising Young Woman, I’m for certain do think it’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year, and I’m ok if I ended the year in theaters with this one.

Carey Mulligan gives one of her best performances that I’ve seen as with the strengths of the writing, she plays this complex character that goes after men who take advantage of women who are drunk. So with her acting drunk to get the men’s attention, it’s a way for her to overcome their toxic masculinity and male dominance by fucking them up mentally to make them rethink their choices and just belittle them to be the smallest pieces of garbage shits that they are. It’s just so satisfying and funny to see them get paranoid and try to act like they’re the victims in the situation when in actuality they are not even close to being innocent.

When she finishes her secret tasks, she’s living her life by not living alone with herself and remains to live with her family and just work in a small coffee place with her boss Gail (Laverne Cox). Her chemistry with Gail was great that has a lot of funny moments from Laverne Cox that I would like to go to that place itself just to see the colorful place and the environment that it brings. It’s interesting to see two sides of her character that gives a lot of depth to her psyche which is something that you can make an engaging character study on. There was a scene that Cassandra Thomas (Carey Mulligan) was just looking at her IPad, and the song it used was so effectively hollow and melancholy that immediately puts you in her shoes where you understand where she’s coming from that you can tell there’s just something missing.

This is Bo Burnham’s first acting role as one of the main leads, and he does a great job that you can definitely tell he’s playing himself that’s just a somewhat goofy person that’s trying to hang out with Cassie but does a terrible job of getting himself introduced to her. When the film progresses, you can see some character progression with him as it does a great job of us getting to know about his role as Dr. Ryan Cooper that has some form of a past connection with Cassie that does play a pivotal role in the story.

The film makes great uses of actors like Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and even Alfred Molina who were in it enough to give a great understanding of their characters to where you hate some of them and feel sympathy for them to where one of the characters gave me such a bit of an anxiety attack that just puts me on edge for a long time. It was also refreshing seeing Jennifer Coolidge giving a dramatic performance, and she also did a good job playing Cassie’s mom that’s worried about her daughter of where she goes late at night, and her living with her family for so long.

With the film being a thriller, there were points where the film does have some comedy in a very dark way, and it doesn’t detract from the tone that is relatively tense to watch that kept me engaged while also laughing at some of the jokes made in here. The score by Anthony Willis is one of the highlights of the film that creates such a style that gives this film such class from using songs like Boys by Charli XCX to even using a DeathByRomy song that I ended up putting that on my Spotify playlist. I just love the usage of the songs that give a modern version of the 80s or 90s vibe to it.

The writing just gives so much depth towards its themes that gets straight to the point with no bullshit or beating around the bush. It gives so many interesting viewpoints on how there’s no middle ground for whether you want to say something and make a difference, or just be part of the problem by silence. The college scene is definitely a fantastic scene that gives out a lot of great dialogue from Cassie and Dean Elizabeth Walker (Connie Britton) that connects with what’s wrong with the college system as of right now while also giving an interesting perspective of the whole “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” that’ll get people talking about it.

The last act was something that people have talked about whether it makes or breaks the film for them that I was really curious to see how it was going to present itself. It was so genuinely uncomfortable and so hard to watch that it’s completely understandable why people would have an issue with the ending as it’s not for everybody. I didn’t know how to feel about the last act cause it was just so hard-hitting and just did not gave a fuck about its approach. So when I rewatched the film, I was certain to say that I thought the last act is great that doesn’t take the easy way out, and it was very unpredictable to see where it was leading to. It effectively fucked me up that surprised me to where the film ended up at. Can’t listen to Angel of the Morning the same way again after watching the film. Promising Young Woman was such an amazing debut from Emerald Fennell that I’m kind of curious to watch Killing Eve after watching this fucked up film.

2020 Ranking

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