‘Promising Young Woman’ shares a wicked take on revenge


Anika Brown

“Promising Young Woman” is a revenge thriller film combined with every girl boss moment you could think of.

As the 2021 Academy Award Show came to a close, hundreds of films were recognized for their brilliance, but one in particular stood out from the rest. While not an exceptionally new film, “Promising Young Woman” hit the Oscars with a whopping five nominations and won best screenplay. On Jan. 25, 2020, Director Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman,” hit theaters with a revengeful bang.

After losing her best friend to suicide following being raped while being drunk, 30 year-old Cassie, played by Carey Mulligan puts her feminist morals and vengeance to the test. Cassie spends her nights pretending to be too intoxicated to even stand, not long before seemingly kind men offer to take her home. Except they don’t.

In the unfortunate reality, those men don’t take her home; they decide to take her back to their own place, in hopes she’s so drunk they will be able to have sex with her. Suddenly, an evidently sober Cassie strikes.

After watching the trailer, I thought I would be viewing a strong feminist film, but boy was I wrong. “Promising Young Woman” took a twisted take on the violent and misogynistic behavior from men.

Cassie deals with various deflections of men’s actions and accusations of rape, even by a dean of her former college, which leads her to the so-called sociopath behavior she acts upon. While watching the film, you could see that character after character was spineless: except for Cassie.

Mulligan was an outstanding portrayal of a grieving friend striving to make a change. The thirst of Cassie’s need for revenge was only pronounced even more with the intelligent acting skills by Mulligan, creating a dysfunctional, yet adaptive dynamic of Cassie’s story.

I was absolutely dumbfounded by the end. The confusion, yet satisfaction I felt during the credits was overwhelming. I sat down 10 minutes later at my computer, and couldn’t find any words of how I felt. I just needed an hour or two to process what I had just watched.

By watching the incredibly brilliant and clever heroine take her own action when others wouldn’t, I was more than impressed. The shockingly horrific, yet devastating story of a woman, simply wanting her friend to get the justice she deserves, serves a fantastic reveal of the true aloofness our society entails.