Promising young woman (2020)

Directed by Emerald Fennel

Starring Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Alfred Molina, Molly Shannon

Once in a while, you see a movie that just works on all levels, direction, story, and performances. For me, this is one of them. I confess that I got interested to see it once it received various nominations, but I’m glad that I saw it.

Cassie Thomas was attending the university to become a doctor along with her friend Nina. When Nina is raped at the university and no one believed her, they both dropped out. In the present, Cassie works at a coffee shop, and at night she pretends she is drunk and when a man tries to take advantage she teaches them a lesson.

There is so much more to the story than that but it is best to be discovered as you see the film. I might have given away what I thought of the film in the beginning, but here are my reasons why. No, this is not the first revenge film done, but I felt was done differently. The story is both a thriller and a drama. Right from the first scene, it is established that Cassie is out for revenge, but it is done so clever at the beginning leaving exactly what she does as a mystery. Emerald Fennell wrote what I think was a great script and directed it to an excellent film. It the first film that I have seen in a while where I did not look at how much time it had left until the last moments because I just needed to know how it all unfolded. I admit this movie had me to tears by the end and I must say the music was brilliantly selected throughout the film.

Carrie Mulligan was amazing, she wins the audience over with both her revengeful side and the sweetness of the character. It is a worthy performance of any nomination she gets. The rest of the cast is also good. Molly Shannon and Alfred Molina had small roles but the times they wherein screen they were great, especially Molina who plays a lawyer that was part of those that did nothing about the rape.

I have to say the subject manner of the film is so relevant, I saw a documentary on Netflix about two girls that went through something like what Nina went through, and something like that can’t be left to boys will be boys or simply believe accusations, they need to be looked into and investigated. But the fact that so many times they just look the other way it’s wrong and that is what I believe this film is saying, Cassie’s anger was that no one believed Nina and did anything.

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