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Promising Young Woman {2020 Film} Review

A film with plenty of style..... but zero substance.

A revenge film following Cassie as she lives a double life, correcting the behaviour of men who take advantage of vulnerable women. After the past resurfaces, Cassie now has a chance to confront and right the wrongs of the events that changed her life.

The composition and framing of shots in this film are aesthetically pleasing, however feel extremely forced. It adds to the overall style and punch of the film but doesn't come across as organically as intended. Great production design is supposed to blend in with the environment of the characters and story where this film blatantly called for the audience focus on the dramatically placed colourful props littered through the set design. It ends up taking away from the importance of the story as they add no value to the scene, plot or characters.

There's a lot of talk and praise about Carey Mulligan's performance and it's excellent but, not my favourite. I've adored Mulligan ever since 2010's Never Let Me Go. She's an inedible talent and has proven that in multiple films such as Shame, Drive, and I luckily had the chance to attend the premiere of Wildlife at Tiff back in 2018.

In Promising Young Woman, she delivers another great performance with ease and command of the screen, however it doesn't surpass any of her other roles/performances in comparison. I don't believe the intention of the film was to rack up critically acclaimed performance awards either.

Some of the twists, I saw being planted throughout the film, as there was so much foreshadowing, however the film successfully wrapped up the narrative. I believe the film was trying to end with a shocking big reveal, it wasn't the biggest curveball, and in some way confusing as it opposed the intentions the film was so heavily setting up for.

I do have an issue with the statement behind the film, as it is being marketing as a empowering feminist film. There are lots of contradictor decisions its principle character makes in upholding these values which undermines the 'power' the film was intending. The film had an angry energy where I felt attacked and screamed at for 2 hours, and I fear this film taken with this context reverses the feminist movement conversation.

I was disappointed most likely, due to the hype around this film or more so the hype around any new movie during the pandemic. It was an interesting experience watching the film. The large statement the film is marketing itself to be was undoubtably its fault for my overall enjoyment of the film, which is a shame for what could have been an excellent powerful film.



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