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Promising Young Woman (2020)

This is not the rape-revenge style subgenre of exploitation film I was apprehensive about watching (a genre I have made clear in the past I am not a fan of). Due to strong recommendations across the Internet I gave this film a try and this is a decision I have no regrets about. The sheer gut-wrenching anxiety and emotion that this film provokes, as we see the events unfold and observe the situation the lead is putting herself in, is enough for me to consider this a horror. I knew nothing about this film going in and the cast including Carey Mulligan, Adam body and Christopher Mintz-Plasse really drew me in. It's Mulligan's Oscar worthy performance here that is the standout of the bunch. The level of emotion she conveys is mesmerizing. The choice to use the beta males, the funny quirky actors we see in various films and TV shows is such a clever choice in casting. These are all actors that people love and have a sense of security watching, yet seeing them play out these dark situations provided such a sense of unease and discomfort. This film does a truly fantastic job of exploring perfectly how a singular focus can so drastically impact and change your life. Seeing Mulligans character stuck at her parents house, in a job well below her skill set and with no drive or ambition to progress are just a few of the examples of how life around her has frozen in time since the incident. Throughout the film, she has a book which she marks after each night. The pages are full and all colour coded which shows she has done this for quite some time. My only gripe is that it is never explained as to what the colours mean and it's still bugging me. Whether this is done deliberately or not isn't clear but I have to belive the director had a purpose for it in mind when filming these scenes. The ending for me is where this film fell ever so slightly apart. I love the idea of it and I'm glad it was brave enough to be as bold as it was. My issue lies with how the fact it wasn't played as serious as I feel it should be. This big impactful conclusion feel very underplayed and almost comical. I'm not sure if this is due to the over performing of the frat boy behavior from the two male actors, but it felt almost light-hearted in a scene that was clearly written with shock value in mind. Certainly exceeding expectations, with great performances, great directing and great writing. This is a very strong recommendation, not just to fans of the horror genre but to anyone who can appreciate great film making. The disappointment I felt at the end should not be reason for you to not see it, what didn't work for me could quite easily work for you.


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