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In some circles, there will be some grumblings about the current state of affairs when it comes to female empowerment on the screen and that perhaps that this film serves as a marker for this wave of change. To those people, I simply say, fuck you.

The pendulum is long overdue a swing towards a bevy of muliebral energy and with Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve)  at the helm in both writing and directing duties, we’re presented with a sharp, witty and intelligent film that heralds a prime position for tales led with the feminine gaze.

What struck me above the dialogue from this essentially dark comedy piece, was the casting of some of America’s wittiest comedians, ranging from Alison Brie, Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Molly Shannon. The inclusion of stellar support actors in Clancy Brown, Laverne Cox, Connie Britton, and Alfred Molina further supports the strength of the script, showcasing just how strong Fennel’s writing is to lure in talent, but more importantly the talent that can deliver the narrative in a manner that it deserves. None more so than Carey Mulligan who leads as 30 year old Cassie, a lady who still lives with her parents, ‘a promising young woman’ who drops out of medical school following the rape of her best friend Nina. It is alluded that the trauma of this incident led to Nina taking her own life and charges Cassie with a lifelong mission to seek vengeance on those who wronged her. 

When we first meet Cassie, we quickly learn that she is both smart and calculating when she poses as drunk in order to lure men into taking them back home, proving that they generally only have one thing on their mind and to steer them into correcting their behaviour, changing their ways. 

This journey takes a more dark and twisted tale when Cassie further learns that Al Monroe (Chris Lowell) the man responsible for the rape of Nina, is due to marry, and propels Cassie down the rabbit hole of revenge that spirals into a climax that appears out of her control.

It is the final reveal however that truly displays the lengths and breadths that Cassie is willing to go to in order to ensure that justice is established. Not only is this a deeply dark view of her purpose, but also a harrowing reminder that despite the gender pendulum is swinging back, there’s still a long way to come when the course of action taking by Cassie seems to be the only one open for certain individuals to sit up and take notice of just how serious things have gone and how far we still need to go.

The Prognosis:

Fennell is more than accomplished in her first outing in the director’s chair. I can’t wait to see what she produces next.

The script is incredibly on point and projects a fine balance of humour, drama and tension with some powerful performances that bring the melody to the fore.
The message is clear and with it, Promising Young Woman delivers a promising start to 2021 genre based movies.

  • Saul Muerte