As the Oscar euphoria has been dying down since the award show premiered on April 25, I thought it would be a good idea to review some of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture. The next film on the list is Promising Young Woman.
Promising Young Woman stars Carrie Mulligan as the main protagonist Cassie. When the audience meets Cassie, we can see that she is a woman out for revenge. Cassie seems set on digging up some demons of her past as she spends the movie embarrassing various men who attempt to take advantage of her as she acts drunk at various bars.
Cassie’s plans become muddled when she meets a man who seems to be vastly different from the rest that she has been interacting with. A pediatric doctor named Ryan Cooper (Bo Burnham) seems to show Cassie that not all men are set on taking advantage of women in a vulnerable position.
As the movie continues, the audience learns the motives behind Cassie’s plan. She is attempting to get back at a boy from her old college days named Al Monroe (Chris Lowell) who allegedly raped her best friend. Cassie then has trouble balancing her feelings for Ryan and seeking revenge for Monroe.
The plot of this movie is extremely engaging as the audience is constantly on edge as Cassie sets out her revenge plan. While the subject matter is very difficult to address, director Emerald Fennell does a great job mixing genres to create a classic revenge movie that hits on some very serious themes.
That being said, there are certainly aspects of this film that can be hard to watch, and that is certainly intentional from the filmmaker’s perspective. Mulligan does a great job making the audience take her side and you can truly see how torn Cassie is when she is balancing being in a relationship with Ryan and finishing her revenge plot.
As with any good revenge movie, the ending has a fantastic twist that audiences surely will not see coming. This is certainly a testament to Fennell’s brilliant writing and directing style. While not perfect, Promising Young Woman does a fantastic job keeping the audience engaged while addressing a very difficult subject manner.
There are some aspects of the movie that seem a bit redundant, however. The pace drags a bit around half-way through the movie when Ryan and Cassie’s romance really gets started. Things certainly pick up in the final act however, creating an overall satisfying movie experience.
Promising Young Woman gets 4 out of 5 stars.