Promising Young Woman (2020)
Updated: Jul 17
Projectionist's rating: 2/10
We were pleased to welcome a new face to our discussion of this edgy and disturbing feminist thriller. We agreed with a member of the group who said that it was “tough watch.” Carey Mulligan’s performance as Cassie, haunted by the past and full of revenge on predatory men, impressed us all. I certainly didn’t see the surprising ending coming and it made you reflect on the deeper messages of the film.
We talked about the short films, which had the theme of women fighting back. One that was very powerful was the film that suggested an assault of a woman on a crowded train.
Our discussion leader pointed out some of Promising Woman’s religious symbolism that might have passed us by. This gave the sense of her as an avenging angel. A blue ‘halo’ around her head, for example, in the scene when she wore her baby pink jumper. We also explored some of the excuses the men made for their involvement in the rape of Cassie’s friend, “I wasn’t there,” “I don’t remember”, “I was too young.”
There were strong views in the group about the objectification of women in society which made them vulnerable and in a position where anything could go. An analogy was made with suffering war victims who can be dehumanised by oppressors.
Our next film – Four Weddings and A Funeral – will certainly be fluffier.