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‘Promising Young Woman’: A Vigilante Caught On The Wrong Side Of Circumstance

today14 April 2021

Background

(Minor spoilers are scattered throughout the article, so beware!!!)

 

This black comedy goes straight into the heart of the matter without hesitation. 

The film begins with a group of men (one of them played by ‘The O.C.’ heartthrob, Adam Brody) eyeing a drunken Cassie, a complicated character played pitch-perfect by Carrey Mulligan. One of them approaches her, seeming sincerely concerned for her safety. Later on, however, Carrie ends up at his home, where he tries to take advantage of her.

 

We are left to wonder if this was his intention from the very beginning, or if he simply lacked self-control (which, in no way, excuses his behaviour). But what is made clear is Cassie’s intention: to weed out every single man who dares to take advantage of inebriated girls at nightclubs.

 

Lux Artists

 

Judging by the next shot of Cassie casually walking down the street chomping down on a hotdog (with ketchup oozing down her arms looking like blood) it’s safe to assume that she left the man psychologically scarred for the rest of his life. The suspense and comedy aspect of this scene sets the tone for the rest of the film. 

 

The film also heavily reflects how women are treated when Cassie is cat-called by a group of men. When she stares them down to make them feel uncomfortable, they begin insulting her instead. But hey, it proves her point: these men don’t know what their own medicine tastes like until it’s being shoved down their throats. 

 

CinemaBlend

 

This film echoes every woman’s fear and paranoia when it comes to a man’s intentions, and the devastation when she finds out that “he’s just like the rest of them.”

 

We watch as Cassie takes matters into her own hands in teaching “them” a lesson, and unleashing her rage that stems from the deep, emotional scar of losing a friend. This is shown in an emotional, albeit brief, scene (hitting too close to home for some people) featuring Connie Britton.

 

The Guardian

 

Underneath the unexpected comic relief and catchy soundtrack (be prepared for a violin instrumental of Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ which is both bad*** and terrifying), at the core of this film is a woman hell-bent on making a mark in a man’s world and leaving them with an important message: no woman is to be messed with. 

 

*Cover image via The Women’s Direction 

Written by: Farah Qistina


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