They say, "Revenge is a dish best served up cold". If that's the truth, then this film is a most delicious meal. It's quite a raw film at almost every visual and verbal turn and you may want to turn it off somewhere in the beginning, but please don't; ride out any prejudices you may have and I promise you a film experience unlike anything you've had before…and an ending that's a stone killer.
Unlike most movies in this genre, where almost everyone is unquestionably bad, this film introduces us to some very charming and appealing men who do some especially nasty things. Not that the women of the film are saintly, they are less than sweet, but there are underlying reasons for their behavior, especially for what keeps coming from Carey Mulligan's character.
Reminiscent in the ways of the 2005 thriller "Hard Candy" starring Elliot Page (formally Ellen) and Patrick Wilson, it leaves that film in the dust as it delivers more relevancy to real-life incidents and to today's "#MeToo" movement. It'll be interesting to see how much-heated debate and conversation the film will create after numerous groups of people see it. I'm looking forward to that.
Here's The Storyline…
Living a secret double life, Cassie (Mulligan), the young woman of the title, seeks revenge for a mysterious event that derailed her medical education and changed the course of her life. Singularly driven, wickedly cunning, and deviously brilliant, she creates opportunities to "even the score" with those who would derail others like herself.
Suddenly a light in the darkness of her distraught and lonely existence appears in the form of a new boyfriend Ryan (Burnham). This new relationship could be the foundation for a way back to normalcy and meaningful life when an unexpected encounter changes everything and opens the door to actually allow her to end the nightmare of her past once and for all.
Lest you think this film is all gloom and doom, it's not. It plays like a dark comedy and is rife with laughs to lighten the mood when it gets a little too somber. I've always liked Cary Mulligan, in this film her wonderfully mesmerizing performance is certainly the best in her career. Cudo's to Ms. Mulligan, let's see more of her. I have to also mention the brilliance of first-time director Emerald Fennell on what she has created here. Where many others have failed, she has succeeded in creating and delivering a groundbreaking female empowerment fantasy that is sure to spawn imitators.
My take… "Promising Young Woman" shares great visual moments and cruel actions with dark comedy to paint the picture of a woman both in control and out of control at the same time, how often do you get to see that? It's a hard film to watch at times, but if you stick it out, it'll surprise the heck out of you.
"Promising Young Woman" is Rated R for strong violence including sexual assault, language throughout, some sexual material, and drug use.