“Promising Young Woman” Uncovers the Realities Women Face


“Promising Young Woman” teaches valuable lessons about sexual assault. (Courtesy of Twitter)

“Promising Young Woman” is a captivating, thought-provoking, and intriguing thriller film that was released in 2020. The movie follows the story of Cassie (Carey Mulligan) who seeks revenge for a traumatic event related to sexual assault which occurred in her past. To call this a realistic account of a woman’s life might be a bit of a stretch, but there are elements to the movie to which all women in our society can relate to.

As the movie begins we are introduced to Cassie, a bright and ambitious woman who has dropped out of medical school and now works at a coffee shop. She spends her nights seeking revenge on predatory men who try to take advantage of vulnerable women. She pretends to be drunk at night clubs every night as she marks them down in her little black book. Her motivation comes from past trauma, and unfortunately her theory is proven right almost every time she goes to the clubs. While she may come off as erratic and even crazy, she is actually complex and emotional, making it easy to empathize with her actions and feel as though she’s justified.

Her plan starts to ramp up as her life gets more complicated. She meets a guy who is actually kind and treats her well, making her want to move past her trauma. However, she, along with the audience, finds out that not everyone is how they appear, and her plans become more twisted. At times it can be hard to understand and support her actions, as she takes it to extremes like faking a kidnapping and drugging a friend. However as her plans get worse, the details about why she is so vengeful also get introduced, which only exemplifies the horror of reality so many women face. As the movie ends, the result we’re left with is not exactly what was expected, but leaves the audience feelings justified —– without giving too much of the suspense away.

The film delivers a powerful message about sexual assault and the way society responds to it. It exposes the hypocrisy and double standards that exist in our culture, where victims are often blamed and shamed for their experiences. The movie challenges the audience to rethink their perceptions of sexual misconduct, and to take a stand against it.

The movie is overall a great watch that I would recommend to anyone, perhaps more so to young men who may be unaware of many women’s realities. Even though this movie goes to extremes that are not relatable to everyday life, it still does a great job of showing off the culture of sexual assault that is so often swept under the rug. Women must stand together, and any victim of sexual assault deserves to be heard and believed.