This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
littlelostsunny’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I already posted my formal review of this (here: letterboxd.com/littlelostsunny/film/promising-young-woman/
but I'm adding a little bit now that more people have seen it.
I cannot possibly be the only person who figured out what was going to happen in the end, like, midway through, right? Maybe it's just because I started thinking about the title as if they were the words plucked straight from an obituary. I read them like that & assumed that her end wouldn't be neat and tidy, but tragic. She was on a suicide mission & she knew it...and that was ok. She had reached a point where she had nothing left to live for, where her future held nothing but a dead fucking end. She practiced risky behavior over & over again, always pushing the boundaries, always placing herself in imminent danger where she was only in control until they decided to flip the script They could have at any time. If they did? She'd be a martyr, she'd prove her point. Nothing was going to stop her because she was a woman on a mission--or at least it started that way--until it morphed into a fixation to an obsession to a full-blown addiction. And in the end, I think all her work paid off. I, personally, felt she accomplished what she set out to do--she got her revenge, she reached her goal. He was her endgame. Granted, had the ending not gone that way, her story would have still been a tragedy. She'd have never found peace, release or true satisfaction--as that's the unfortunate reality about revenge...you chase it, you dream about it, you crave it, but the moment you catch your pray...the moment you finally grab hold of what you've been seeking.... you realize nothing can heal that wound or fill that void. She'd go back to her old ways at the nightclubs and bars until someone else ended her suffering or until she ended it herself. Throughout the film we watch her lure and capture these men--never entirely sure exactly what the plan will be, letting their actions dictate how it all plays out. I think she has an outline, but was able to improvise on the fly. Mostly, she sought to teach lessons without resorting to violence, but that was never the plan for her final conquest. No, she wanted to fuck him up and over & she did. I'm not saying she set out to die that day, but she was prepared. I'm sad to say I truly connected with her character...I know what it's like to have your world implode, to be a bright star whose light extinguishes unexpectedly and much too soon...whose future plans crash and burn right before your very eyes. I've lived through it. I was a promising young woman, too. I had a mental breakdown in college--junior year--dropped out to try and address the issues, but I never could climb out of that deep, dark hole. Everything I'd worked for up until that point became worthless--valedictorian in high-school, Dean's List in college...all meant nothing from there on out. I still haven't recovered. I'm still stagnating. And all of this was due to a situation beyond my control, just like hers. To fall so far, so fast can break a person...and it broke me. And sometimes we can't be fixed. We get to this point where we are so far from shore we don't think we can ever swim back. We're tired. We've exhausted our resources and we just let the waves crash over us, succumbing to the indomitable force beating us down. It's easier that way. It'll only hurt for a minute & then we'll never have to live in our brains and our bodies again--free at last This doesn't have to mean suicide--it can just mean accepting your fate as the living dead, becoming completely detached from the world and dissociating. We'll never be happy again, not really. We're only still here because there must be a little bit of hope left, and if not that...then we must still have something to accomplish on this planet. Our life as we knew it is gone. So we give up. We surrender. But, as long as we're upright and breathing, we have to find a coping mechanism, a way to numb the gnawing despair. That will provide us with a purpose, a distraction, a focal point meant to occupy our minds and time. I chose alcohol. She chose revenge. It becomes a hobby that we can't live without--one that the rest of the world cannot tolerate or understand, but it's all we have. It's what allows us to get out of bed in the morning and what dances in our heads as we fall asleep. I know that mentality. I live it every day. I'm sober now, but I still struggle to find healthy ways to address my issues. Hers were different than my own--she lost someone. She is suffering from survivor's guilt and that shit will haunt you forever. So, anyways, I'm rambling but I loved the ending & even if it's unfair, I think she'd make the same choice again. Those fuckers got what they deserved. She and her friend didn't. Our society is fucked up & merely existing in a patriarchal society is inherently dangerous to women. Whatever, I know people are really really riled up about the conclusion, but I am in the pro column.