Monday, February 8, 2021

Promising Young Woman (a movie review post)


I think it's not unreasonable to suggest that the greatness of a movie can be judged by how long it lingers in your mind after you've watched it. How much time you spend ruminating over what you watched and, possibly, what it means. Unless you're talking about Christopher Nolan. No one should spend any time thinking about his movies after the fact, especially Inception. When the man admits that the movie ends ambiguously because he couldn't make a decision about how to end it, it doesn't deserve any thought. That's just sloppy bad writing.

However, with other movies, how much time you spend thinking about them is a totally valid measure of how good they may be. Promising Young Woman hung around in my mind pretty steadily for days. Not in a way that would probably make you want to watch it again, because I'm pretty sure it's not a movie I really want to watch again, though that might not be true. It's that kind of movie.

I'm betting you want to know what kinds of thoughts I was having, but I'm not going to tell you because there's not really a way to do that without being spoilery. I am going to say, though, that this is currently my pick for Best Picture this year. It's a powerful movie and deals with a powerful subject. If you're a man watching this and not uncomfortable, minimally, doing so, there is something wrong with you. And you're probably part of the problem. If you're angry about the movie, you are definitely part of the problem.

And if you make comments about how Carey Mulligan is not pretty enough to be believable as a rape victim, you are more than definitely part of the problem and you don't know how rape works.

Don't be part of the problem.

Speaking of Carey Mulligan, she's fantastic. She more than adequately carries the movie, which is significant, because the whole plot rests on her and her believability. She gives the role a nuance that still has me wondering about some things here and there, which is why I possibly might would watch it again just to see what I thought after a second viewing. But it's a hard movie to watch, especially the ending.

Emerald Fennell, the writer/director, probably also deserves the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. It's very difficult to have a powerful movie without a powerful script, and this one is powerful. Not to mention the creeping dread the movie causes as you hope what's going to happen isn't what's going to happen. You don't find people who can create that kind of feeling very often.

I think this is a must-watch movie, especially if you're a white male. Or just white. Women participate in rape culture, too, because, well, just gonna say it: Patriarchy and "christianity." Get rid of those two things and rape culture would probably just go away.

1 comment:

  1. Emerald Fennell did that movie? I've seen her acting in things, but I had no idea she wrote or directed. I'm probably not going to see it as I don't like media with rape in it, but I can still appreciate the heavy subject matter being done well.