The moment Promising Young Woman introduced itself by room-blasting Charli XCX, I had a feeling that this was going to be a perfectly fine, fun movie, which would likely trigger a bunch of crybaby, melodramatic anti-liberals.
About time! I’ve been waiting for a decent anti-hero serial killer piece for a while now ever since I finished Dexter YEARS ago. Guiltily, Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut is primarily carried on its shoulders by its lead performances and incremental jabs of social commentary regarding how we publicly interpret/handle rape, as everything else to me in the confines of plot, general characterizations, editing, cinematography, and comedy came off as “mediocre” to straight-up “stereotypical” textbook quality for the most part. I’ll gladly watch a fictional drama where a gloomy badass goes around town threatening or killing rapists often played by unusual cameo actors, nonetheless, without a Carrey Mulligan or a Bo Burnham, plus, a decent sense of political voice to back up the amateurishly written — minus the quirky double-meaning roman numeral structuring; wOw! — revenge journey, this would’ve just been pretty bland.
As what many seem to be talking about the most when it comes to Fennell’s 2020 artistic statement, this “wild” third act for me is somewhat of a mixed bag, in that, it takes possibly one of the most shocking left turns I’ve seen all year and then proceeds to clean the hauntingly unfair consequences of it up with one of the most predictable right turns I’ve seen all year. Either way, I do appreciate its participation to the puzzle more so for justifying a cluster of the fantasy-driven narrative that defined the first two acts of the movie, as it clarifies a symbolic purpose to all the cheesiness with a sacrificial conclusion; this ultimately ended up being the reason why I found the overall experience of Promising Young Woman to be positive. It’s fairly ordinary in a majority of regards but has enough resolute distinction in its feminist messaging to elevate itself above the unfortunately watered-down “vengeance” genre.
At the end of the day, I do recommend it, even just to see its excellent use of score, covering, and soundtrack cause… DAMN, is that part of the film striking!
“Promising Young Woman” is now playing in select theaters.