Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

EDIT 2: No, I tried to see the "good" in the movie because of all the praise, but it really isn't deserved. This movie is just dumb and bad when you get to the core of it. It's not doing anything interesting. Maybe if you squint really hard it might. If this is what "feminist film" is supposed to look like...don't want any of it! In the end, this movie hates women and women's anger more than it lets on. In fact, I don't think Emerald feels women are allowed to be angry--if they are, they're a fucking mess like Cassie. This review sums up my feelings the best: ayeshaasiddiqi.substack.com/p/id-like-this-to-stop-praise-for-a

EDIT: I've since read lots of reviews talking about how the fact that this does NOT give us the revenge movie it promised is the interesting part of the film - which, it is. I totally agree with that fact. Ending with dead women is realistic and the second Cassie died, I was so intrigued. But it was everything that happened AFTER Cassie died that kind of erased any meaning that came with that. The weird "killing a stripper" conversation and the entire wedding scene really detract from what just happened. Again - women NOT getting a win is realistic - it's interesting, it subverts our expectations. But the final scene goes back and presents it as if it is a win. There is supposed to be something satisfying about seeing the rapist get arrested - but it's not.

I understand the desire to market this film as a classic revenge movie BECAUSE it subverts some of those tropes. But it's also misleading in a sort of cruel and manipulative way.

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The marketing of this film (and the gushing words of those who somehow loved it) promised a cathartic rape revenge movie......which it does NOT deliver on. I was on board at first, skeptical by the middle and knew that the ending would decide my ultimate feelings about the film.

The second she died I'll admit, my interest was peaked again - oh - are they actually doing something here?? But sadly, nope. A bleak ending that delivers us the same injustices we see time and time again? I'm on board for that. But the film doesn't see the ending as bleak or what would happen to 99% of women in this situation. Instead it presents the ending as a big "win" - was our #1 target getting arrested supposed to be the cathartic part of the movie?? Cassie spends the entire movie working outside of the system because it doesn't WORK. This mf will probably get off easy on his charges because THAT'S HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS. What a mess of a movie.

Oh - not to mention the actual rape victim of the film is merely a name and plot device that drives the main character's actions. Which is one of the oldest and worst rape revenge tropes in the book. Cassie being a woman doesn't change that fact.

I was so ready for CATHARSIS instead it gave me more dead women and zero dead rapists. I can't believe I didn't get to watch even ONE rapist die. Cassie tortures other women more than she does any of the awful men around her (which again, could've been "saying something" but it never gets to that point). The whole Bo Burnham side plot and their forced banter feels totally out of place.

Jordan Peele wrote a much bleaker ending for Get Out, but he realized while that ending was "realistic" it's not what was needed - it needed CATHARSIS. If only Emerald had realized that herself. Instead she tried to have it both ways - a bleak realistic ending awkwardly mushed together with a "gotcha" pseudo-catharsis ending. A tonal mess that's not saying nearly as much as it thinks it is.

I should've known - I don't like Killing Eve either.

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