[Film review] Promising Young Woman

Review by John P. Harvey.

Having dropped her medical studies seven years earlier, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) waitresses in a café. By night, though, Cassie’s reason for dropping out of medical school comes to the fore, and she makes herself live bait for sexual predators. When their dishonourable intentions become unmistakeable, she thoroughly reeducates them. She has shown hundreds of predatory men the errors of their ways, and might have continued forever in this pattern, but events lead her to consider that the time has come to stop.

Of course, there is always One Last Job, and naturally that’s where it all comes undone.

I can’t say that Promising Young Woman is an unremittingly happy movie: not all the good end up with their just desserts. But — occasional problems in verbal articulation notwithstanding — its action and its conversations keep it moving, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. Pacy, well-acted, and frankly believable, with a conclusion that mostly satisfies, and with a soundtrack matching its lightheartedly energetic approach to serious business, it entertains throughout. More than that, its protagonist is somebody you’d want on your side: good in planning and in execution, she pursues her unconventional teaching career with style, shows a quick wit and a good heart, and is loyal to death. You’ll see what I mean.

Screening at Palace, Dendy, and Hoyts cinemas.

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