You’re Toxic, I’m Slippin’ Under (Film Thoughts: Promising Young Woman)

Let’s start the year off with an interesting film, one I had been looking forward to seeing since I saw its trailer months ago: Emerald Fennell’s ‘Promising Young Woman.’ Initially, OI had mistaken that this was going to be a comedy, but from articles I have read since I surmised that it was also some kind of thriller. Carey Mulligan stars as Cassie, a young woman who ‘traps’ men while at the bars, going home with them, and teasing them, and when they act on her come ons, gives them some kind of lesson. She has a notebook with numbers of her conquests – some are labeled in black, others in red (we never really know what this actually means, we guess the red ones are when the encounters turn violent)

It turns out that Cassie is out for revenge. She quit medical school years ago, around the same time when her friend Nina was raped, and we find out that she had such potential – she was doing well, and had to bow out. Cassie is on a revenge rampage, and from these we piece together what happened to her.

There are some loopholes in the story, and the characterizations seem hollow, but Mulligan gets into the role it kind of does not matter – we see her intent anyway. I don’t know if I really agree with some of her later actions – I am usually on the camp where wrongs do not make a right but the story handles that for me later on. I also have reservations about the tome of the film – in the middle of it all there seems to be some kind of romantic comedy thing happening between Cassie meeting Ryan (played by Bo Burnham) and then the the films turns very dark towards the end. But all of this can be overlooked because you will be engrossed by Mulligan, and the film, for the most part. This film will probably cause you to think about boundaries, mental health, and falling in love, and all at the same time. And it has the best use of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘Something Wonderful’ outside of ‘The King & I.’

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