Promising Young Woman; Grade: B+
Promising Young Woman tells a story of a thirty year old woman named Cassandra (Carrie Mulligan), who once had full potential to become a great doctor/nurse, as she’s now stuck at home with her parents working at a local coffee shop. What cause Cassandra to drop out was severe trauma from her past, as something truly awful has haunted her for many years. Cassandra hopes to let the past go, as she gets acquainted with a significant other named Ryan (Bo Burnham) that could change her perspective on the male gender and move on from her past. Witness a dark drama, comedy, romance, and revenge story.
The Cinematography t’was great, love how the film truly pops with a variety of colors, as Chris Stuckmann describes it as watching candy on screen. Especially in the night club sequences, the unique set pieces, as also how Cassandra’s colorful hair compliments the setting in the third act as well. The Score was solid as a whole, I liked the whole dark rendition of Britney Spears Toxic, as the composed score really sets the tone in each scene.
The cast as a whole was pretty damn good. Carrie Mulligan playing Cassandra t’was pretty great, a very unsettling yet delightful performance, as she delivers some solid dark comedy bits here and there. Cassandra was an extremely well written character, that wasn’t predictable by any means, she always surprises you here and there as she really has you on the edge of your seat, regarding what could her thought process be in several situations. I feel there is a debate whether or not Cassandra can be described as a protagonist, as her thought process can at times be troublesome. However when looking back at it all... She’s honestly just a very clever being, who knows how to get inside peoples heads and skins, without doing anything we could be frown upon or against, except what she does to the bachelor mates in the end but you can argue it had to be done, so no one can interfere with her process.
Bo Burnham playing Ryan t’was pretty good, I’m surprised his performance was more centered around drama than comedy, as I thought he was going to deliver more in the comedic field, however it’s more of a serious performance as I thought Bo did a really good job. Alison Brie playing one of Cassandra’s past classmates t’was pretty good in her few scenes she was in, very striking sequences and strong acting chops from Alison. Alfred Molina in his striking scene in the second act t’was fantastic, it’ll be a scene in which will be the first thing everyone remembers after watching this film, it’s a shame we didn’t get more from him because DAMN fantastic acting.
My main flaw with Promising Young Woman is looking back at it all... Cassandra’s process of acting drunk, luring men to take her back to their place, where she would humiliate the living hell out of them is kind of confusing. As a setup it works extremely well, but the main issue is why is she taking note of each and every individual she humiliates?! I understand the moral lesson and message behind it, however now that I look back... I don’t understand why she takes note of each and every individual, as I don’t understand the point. I think if the notebook was scratched off completely, it would make a significant difference, as you don’t question why she keeps a tally of all the guys she spooked.
This was honestly my most anticipated release I had for Christmas releases, I’ve been excited to see this film ever since the unique teaser trailer dropped. I felt Promising Young Woman succeeded on my expectations and perhaps more, as I was kind of impressed in what I had received.
I really enjoyed how steadily paced this film was, where none of it felt rushed nor slow, as how it was paced was just perfect. The story was extremely well written, as it provides some great thought revoking themes and messages on the subject matter, while also bringing you a well written dark narrative as well. Majority of the film wasn’t predictable as things came to my surprise while watching, the only thing I succeeded as far as predicting was in the third act, as I expected disappointment was bound to come towards our lead characters way. I like how this film offered a variety of many things, whether it be romance, dark comedy, and dark drama as it all blended very well together. I’ve heard the ending is suppose to make or break this film, as I highly disagree. I think what was going through the characters mind, she had a plan where the best possible result could happen or the worst possible result could happen. At the end of the day: The character wasn’t executing revenge for herself, it was more for bringing justice for her best friend. So how it was wrapped up t’was very satisfying, as the sudden twist t’was honestly dope. I feel many people are going to really enjoy this film, it really has something for everybody, whether you’re looking for a well written narrative or a powerful film delivering strong messages to build a better future.
Overall, Promising Young Woman was pretty damn good. I highly recommend checking this one out, I’m sure you will not be disappointed. -Mitch Smietana