Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman was o the 2018 Black List. This daring and clever subject discovers the loss that a young woman faces at the hands of male cruelty. The audacious tone of the film sets it apart from the rest of the films at the 2021 Sundance film festival.
Cassie (Carey Mulligan) is living a quiet, unapologetically boring and subdued life and working as a barista. She drops out of medical school and lives with her parents. Her evenings, however, tell a different story. There seems to be a past trauma that she is trying to deal with in her dealings with any men that she comes across. Cassie is anger, revenge, and hurt, personified. She is seeking vengeance, to cure her wounds, inflicted on her by toxic masculinity.
The movie starts with Cassie going on about her life carelessly, and shall we say, impulsively. Sometimes in a sexy nurse outfit, while at other times flirting with Bo Burnham in a pharmacy, while Paris Hilton’s Stars are Blind plays in the background. The scene changes and we see her hands on a man’s neck, in a death grip, struggling to breathe. The film then turns to show #MeToo and the entire culture seems to be at its centre that protects such men. The tone changes, and we see Cassie as a victim and not as a huntress.
The film is an emotional and psychological gauge for women who have been through any kind of sexual assault. The buzzwords that surround this film at the 2021 Sundance festival are sans s’excuser and bold, but so much in line with what women actually feel and go through, that it is almost raw and undefiable: #MeToo,” “toxic masculinity,” “revenge-thriller,” “female gaze,” “women’s empowerment”.
The 2021 Sundance movies depict a wide range of films and artwork that is setting the tone for the rest of the year. Grab your Sundance film festival tickets and enjoy the last week.