The must see film challenging the hashtag while providing an insight into every woman’s nightmare
Promising Young Woman, possibly the film of the year, a frivolously heartbreaking story known by many. The moving picture stars the incredibly adjustable actress, Carey Mulligan who you’ll have seen play the delicate Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, now gracing our screens as a woman performing her own course of justice for her best friend who was raped.
The film written and directed by Emerald Fennell who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and received five Oscar nominations including; Best Picture, Actress, Director, Original Screenplay, and Film Editing.
Watching the film as a woman in the UK, after recent episodes of trending hashtag #NotAllMen we see this message played out, and all the worth it provides – little to none. Not only does this film uncover the stories of many assaulted women, it does so in a rosy, sweet and sarcastic way.
Back in March the #NotAllMen hashtag worryingly started to trend on Twitter in the UK, after another girl had gone missing. Unfortunately, hashtag or no hashtag the sentiment and the idea that women accuse men without caution has been an issue not only regionally, but globally for a long time.
The script-writing of PYW shows us what that looks like in the cold light of day, in an all too familiar, yet necessary way. The film opens with three men preying on our supposedly drunk protagonist, Cassie. We immediately hear the recognisable words spoken about her; “If she’s not careful, someone will take advantage,” “That’s just asking for it,” and “Go for it, big fella.” Two of the men don’t pursue their vulgar words in the opening scene, but one man takes his friends’ thoughts as encouragement to pursue Cassie instead.
In the first five minutes of this film, Fennell has metaphorically rolled up her script with its cunning content and battered down the dreaded hashtag and any meaning some may think it had. And it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the entire film, Cassie is the voice of many women arguing against the phrases branded to be ‘harmless’ “What would you have me do? Ruin a young man’s life because of one accusation?” and “we were just kids.” Not only are the words of PYW cleverly crafted, the unexpected aesthetic of the dramatic thriller is also designed to convey its important message.
When reading the description of the film, one might expect dark, eerie nights, and heavy piano music that has you hiding away under a blanket. However, to find that it’s set in sunny Ohio, Cassie sporting an array of kitsch, vintage-inspired dresses, and the backing music to vary from the Spice Girls and Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind, you might be pleasantly surprised. Although Emerald Fennell enjoys magenta sparkles at red carpet events, the cutesy aesthetic doesn’t seem to be just because it’s easy on the eye.
Between the 1950s-inspired, Instagrammable diners, and lipstick stickers on Cassie’s laptop, the innocent High School visuals seem to play a part in the message, that this happens every day. Sexual assault, rape, and shaming ‘lying’ women are dark topics, yet nevertheless, do they find their way into what should be, the safest and happiest areas of our lives. Just like Cassie’s.
Promising Young Woman has had Debut in awe of its carefully, comedic portrayal of every woman’s horror story, with its femme aesthetic, and sense of hope that it strangely brings to the viewer.
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From years of experience to build up her career in fashion product managing, for all-time favourite brand Dr. Martens, Bex had what she would like to call “a quarter life epiphany” and switched gears to set sail onto the long road ahead of editorial writing.
Having written for a variety of magazines such as Eden Zine designed for young entrepreneurs where she explored the digital disguise of social media, to returning several times to resident at The Bower Monologues, a publication created and written by women through the female psyche, where she explored a personal viewpoint on escaping rituals, Bex now finds herself at the home of Debut.
Being a feminist, creative, lifelong tomboy, and fashion lover, Bex is inspired to write about, interview and explore the wonders of like-minded people and their creations. Whilst obsessed with fashion, she’s not afraid to fiction: Bex’s blog is a trip into the eye of the beholder. Exploring love, relationships, fashion and weekly anecdotes, her personally-branded “personal exposé” is just the start of a lifetime of stories. Bex is an old, hopeless romantic without the fear to dive head into water of the intriguing unknown.
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