'Promising Young Woman' Review With Casey
First time feature film writer/director Emerald Fennell has created a story challenging the male gaze and stabbing it between the eyes.
Years after dropping out of medical school, a scornful woman (Carey Mulligan, Suffragette, 2015) takes a path of tricky vengeance as she confronts her betrayers from a traumatic past. This film is in the thematic vein of the 2019 drama Joker as it focuses on an anti-hero lashing out at sexual injustice through her clever use of feminine allure to appear innocent to the outside world. But in the words of Britney Spears, she's not that innocent. Actress Carey Mulligan clearly has fun with this starring role showing a nuanced ferocity that is focused and controlled or gleeful and condescending. She's thankfully more than the "cliched wronged woman on a mission."
Some scenes crackle well enough with a satisfying balance of tension and humanity, but other scenes feel rushed or stale creating an inconsistency in mood and story progression. The film's third act is satisfying and climactic, but it's a shame the rest of the film couldn't be as concentrated or contained.
Promising Young Woman is a good movie for this current time of the #MeToo movement (hopefully giving it more momentum) and will be especially prescient for Generation Z viewers. But its rickety direction and inconsistent writing keeps it from being a great movie. I won't be surprised if Promising Young Woman gets a few Golden Globe nominations, but I will be surprised if it wins any Golden Globe awards.