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Carey Mulligan, along with actors, (to name a few) Natalie Portman, Jodi Foster, Emma Watson, Lupita Nyong’o has a rarefied intelligence quotient; being smart is the characterizing trait of “Cassandra” a coffee counter-girl, pursuing, diligently, men who prey on inebriated women; her virtuosity is disquieting and Mulligan is masterful in the role. Except for the finale “Promising Young Woman” directed by Emerald Fennell, was blandly, yawningly conventional (misogyny, double standard, “he said” “she said” thesis); Cassie is seeking retribution for her closest friend and fellow medical student, “Nina” whose sexual ambush, prevented both women from completing their medical degrees. The film, would have fared better, if Cassie were the victim; unseen, Nina is a specter, a stalemate who triggered Cassie’s stunted demise. Extremely problematic is Cassie’s elimination of “self”; substituting her career/life as Nina’s avenger.

Reconnecting with a classmate from the past “Ryan” (aplomb performance by Bo Burnham), Cassie’s destiny is scripted. There is something genuinely satisfying when women daunt their testosterone driven counterparts: “Kill Bill” franchise, “The Brave One”, “Hard Candy”, “Dragon Tattoo” series; my perpetual, preferred, retaliation flick is Bollywood’s 2004 “Ek Hasina Thi” (“There Was a Beautiful Woman”); a deliciously appalling conclusion, guarantees perpetual membership in one’s distinctive “chamber of horrors”; “Promising Young Woman”, with time’s ebb, will amorphously evaporate.



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