“Promising Young Woman” is the super original and provocative film we should all see

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“Promising Young Woman” is the super original and provocative film we should all see

It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, but it could have won several others. It opens in Portugal this Thursday.

Carey Mulligan is the protagonist.

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The #MeToo movement rocked the Hollywood industry and brought about some structural changes. However, this has not always been – or at least best – translated into the stories we see in cinemas. Well, Promising Young Woman did the feat of being a totally relevant movie in the current scenario – and it’s a great movie in and of itself, regardless of the subject.

The production of newcomer Emerald Fennell (better known as an actress who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay this Sunday) opens in Portugal on Thursday April 29th. In Portuguese the title is “Uma Miúda com Potencial”.

This is the story of Cassandra (played by the talented and charismatic Carey Mulligan). She is a woman in her thirties and still lives at home with her parents – much to her annoyance – who lead a boring and monotonous life in a cafe during the day.

At night, however, Cassandra transforms and takes on her role as a vigilante superhero to accomplish her mission. This includes putting on makeup, getting dressed in an engaging way, and just walking into bars where she pretends to be completely drunk.

She is a predator who pretends to be prey for the men who approach her and thinks it’s an easy opportunity to get someone home that night. Better, let’s correct: she’s a woman in a sexist society who blames the victims, who suffers from past trauma, but is tired of being arrested to hunt predators – the men who approach her and think that a girl is drunk and lonely is an easy target.

One of the smartest things Promising Young Woman does is that these men are not considered stereotypical retrograde Pacóvios. Nothing like that. As the film shows, true predators are often neat and kind men, apparently thoughtful and modern, who even seem to have good intentions but reveal themselves in the moment of truth.

Cassandra’s approach is simple. When the moment comes when men try to go too far to take advantage of a vulnerable girl, she drops her mask and shows them that she is not drunk at all. She points out that what they are doing is completely wrong and basically gives them a great (and unexpected) lesson. These men, too, are not the most conventional rapists or molesters that society as a whole naturally condemns.

Promising Young Woman is more interested in exploring the nuances, the little attitudes that the common man can have on a daily basis that don’t even realize that they can be completely wrong – and that they can do great harm. It’s the movie to be intelligent to allow us to somehow identify ourselves.

This is the starting point of the action. Over the course of an hour and 53 minutes of the film, we discover what is behind Cassandra’s way of life – what is the trauma of her past that made her what she is today – while also following a relationship that emerges between the protagonist supposed to and an old college colleague who happened to be reunited. Carey Mulligan was the perfect choice for the role.

At first glance it looks like an easy movie – it’s fun and exciting – but it has multiple layers of content under each sentence or detail. “Promising Young Woman” is really one of the best films of the last year, a super original and (good) provocative work that all men especially should see.

The ending is not only surprising but also explosive – an ideal climax for everything that has happened so far. There is comedy, deep drama and moments of high tension in this film that twist the genres of cinema to give us a very unique tone. It’s a tasty and refreshing revenge that makes us think. Come on, Emerald Fennell.