[Editor’s note: This article contains minimal spoilers for Promising Young Woman.]
Everyone should see A promising young woman, an astonishing, destabilizing film about rape, which was nominated for five Oscars. The film is full of flaws. Borderline nausea. Whether or not he wins one Oscar on Sunday night, care must be taken.
You’ve probably already been exposed to life content about attacks on women. But Promising young women is a real original – we need #MeToo themes that we started with a bitter tuning and remixed them, creating an unbearable noise that changes perspective.
In some way, A promising young woman falls on tired tropics: conventionally attractive, well-to-do whites are the primary victims of sexual violence. (In fact, women of color are disproportionately affected by sexual violence, and women who don’t go to college are more likely to experience sexual assault than those who do.) The characters in the film are too simplistic — either heartbreaking, quietly grotesque, or pure evil.
In other ways, the film is a moral triumph.
A promising young woman studies the ways in which some white women devote their meager power to strengthening the apparatus of male violence. It takes a “But I’m a nice guy!” Guy, wraps a hoodie around his neck and hangs it. He tries hard to project the message that the rapist is not a person overwhelmed by lust, but a person who has power. Watching A promising young woman it makes men for dating feel like an impossible task – but any title can do it. The power of film is in the way it shows how our culture is structured to ward off predators.
Promising young women deceptive art begins even before the film’s introductory scene. Written and directed by Emerald Fennell – a former show runner Killing Eve, and Camilla Parker Bowles in the third season Crown—The film was promoted as a thriller for the revenge of a girl-power. I would bet on every red lipstick in the bathroom that most of the people who paid for paid PYW they did so in the belief that they would watch the rapists kick them. The announcement and the film itself hangs symbols of violence – cheekbones, crimson pencil, red heels, geyser ketchup, coming out of a bun. Delightful. We, the spectators, are looking for blood.