Trailer Review: Promising Young Woman (2020)

Beth Robson reviews the trailer for the provocative April 2020 release, Promising Young Woman.

Beth Robson
14th December 2019

In a time of a heightened sense of fear and anger within feminist and women’s rights movements on campus and internationally, Promising Young Woman looks to take on the overwhelming task of challenging rape culture, and in my opinion, will take 2020 critically by storm.

With a stellar cast and female-led production team (including greats such as 'Killing Eve' writer and executive producer, Emerald Fennell making her directorial debut) Promising Young Woman looks.. well, promising! Throughout the trailer we follow Cassie (played by the BAFTA award-winning, Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby)); a woman hell-bent on seeking revenge against men who look to take advantage of drunk young women by pretending to be one and ambushing them before they’re able to attack. Taking rape culture by the scruff of it’s neck, the trailer previews the films social commentary on complacency of people who do not stop sexual assault or believe it’s victims, and injustice within the higher education and judicial system in the United States. 

What I most anticipate about this film is its script. Throughout the trailer we hear references to famous rape allegation trials such as that of ‘People v. Turner’ where rapist, Brock Turner, received a light sentence for being a ‘promising young man’. In light of current stories regarding female-violence and sexual harassment on campus, I can’t imagine this film not being highly topical in the run up to its release. Going back to her old university campus, Cassie is seen to be revisiting her past and history with her university’s lack of decorum and refusal to take responsibility following what is insinuated to be, a sexual attack. I look forward to hearing how people will respond to the films challenging of typical rape culture-esque responses to sexual violence such as:

“It’s every guys worst nightmare getting accused like that” for Cassie only to respond with “Can you guess what every woman’s worst nightmare is?”

Aside for its controversial and provocative script, the film looks to be visually stunning also with a very apparent juxtaposition between the ultra-feminine and bright (or innocent-looking) Cassie during the day, and the seductress (and guilty-looking) Cassie by night; possibly challenging the stereotype of sexual women “asking for it” as Cassie’s revenge turns the violence onto the predatory men. The use of a violin rendition of Toxic by Britney Spears is also fantastically applied throughout the trailer and only adds eeriness to the thriller.

Set to release on April 17th 2020, I anticipate lots of hype and anticipation for Promising Young Woman, especially so in the age of #MeToo. This is one I am very excited to see!

Check back in with us here at the Courier in April for a full review of the film.

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