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"It was an Emotional Rollercoaster." 7 Women Share What 'Promising Young Woman' Meant to Them.

* TRIGGER WARNING * This story discusses sexual assault. If this story is triggering please contact LIFELINE at 13 11 14 or 1800 RESPECT.


I had been eager to see Promising Young Woman for over a year.

I probably watched the trailer over 20 times - I had the haunting 'Toxic' acoustics cover in my head for weeks.

But due to Covid-19 the release date just kept getting pushed back again and again.

But on New Year's Eve of 2020 I finally got to watch the highly anticipated film - and I was not disappointed.

Not only was 'Promising Young Woman' a cinematic masterpiece but it meant so much to me to see the "nice guy" trope exposed in such a brilliant way.

Director Emerald Fennell did such a great job exploring rape culture and how it's intertwined into society.

I knew I wasn't the only woman to be heavily impacted by this film, so I decided to reach out to some TNWC followers and hear their thoughts on the extraordinary yet also confronting film.



Helin, 48.

"I watched 'Promising Young Woman' not knowing what it was going to be about. I’m glad I did because it had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning. I have a 25 year old single daughter so I couldn’t help but imagine how scary the world is for young women when it comes to dating, going out to clubs etc. I’ve long ago given up the notion that clothing, drinking etc by a woman means she is somehow responsible for rape. But I have debated this with my husband. He just can't get his head around the fact that a woman for example, walking home alone should know better. But after we saw this movie together he finally got it."


"I really enjoyed the movie yet at the same time found it to be an emotional rollercoaster! The last 20 minutes of the film - when she is suffocated in that agonisingly long scene, I was completely shocked and taken aback. For awhile there I thought the movie had taken a really dark turn and that the men in the movie were going to get away with everything. I think I sat in the cinema with my mouth open in shock for a long time! It was great to see the cops arrive and that Cassie had a plan for this - but it was also so sad that it had to take her death for any action to be taken.

The movie sat with me for a long time and I thought about it for at least a week afterwards. I thought about just how many women have had experiences similar to what played out in the movie, how many of us weren’t believed or stayed silent. I think the movie did a good job at highlighting that. Overall - I loved it, but it was quite confronting."

Gotta love the foreshadowing - so much attention to detail in this film.

Maddison, 22.

"Loved it, saw it with my partner and our two friends. It was great for a discussion around consent, sexual assault and the ‘not ruining young men’ notion. Loved that they didn’t have the typical love story line too, would have ruined the movie for me. Only issue I had was that they were caught in the end. I think it would have been more impactful if they let the males get away with it again."

Bella, 37.

"I really liked it for calling out men’s behaviour and making it seem like there was more awareness, however, I was triggered for 2-3 days after watching it because of my own personal experience when my husband raped me with a pillow over my head (that was my final wake up call to leave the marriage and he’s made my life hell ever since *subplot right*). The pillow scene sent me into a tailspin. I’m probably not the only one to be triggered by this movie but I still feel that it was good in the sense that it highlighted that most men think they “are the good ones” when the reality is that they’re just not. It might need a CN/TW warning for women.... probably all women from my understanding and that makes me sadder and angrier at the same time."

They really fooled us - after watching this scene we really thought everything was going to be okay for Cassandra.


"Wow...my partner and I experienced a whole heap of emotions with this movie. I’m not sure how I feel about it as a whole and if it was good or not good! We felt disturbed, shocked, saddened and yet kinda happy. It was strange.

The cabin scene was very distressing, it went for such a long time, which was unexpected, but she and I both thought that it was (tragically) more accurate than what is usually shown in movies. So we felt really awful with this scene.

The behaviour of the men was realistic and sickening, yet almost comical at times, like when the groom was on the bed crying that he didn’t want to get into trouble. The ending was shocking, sad and powerful in a bizarre way. My partner and I couldn’t stop crying. It really touched a nerve. The protagonist went to the cabin knowing she wouldn’t come out, she brought the abusers to justice but was killed in the process. We felt so deeply sad."

Sara, 34.

I loved this movie but it was hard to watch. It highlighted the boys club and "nice guy" attitudes I always seem to come across. The focus was on how not to ruin the boys' lives, because they made a mistake they are nice guys...what about the women? They both died because of the actions of those disgusting men. Even worse are the women that enable it to happen...this happens in the real world btw.

It's actually very hard to articulate my feeling towards this movie, mainly because it stirred up a lot of anger and hostility towards men and a big sense of injustice because men typically don't fear what women could do to them the same way women fear what men could do to them."

Carey Mulligan truly excelled in her role as 'Cassandra.'

Steph, 28.

"What stood out for me was the message regarding rape culture (obviously a big theme in the movie). Nothing that happened with these guys was surprising. That’s the thing that got to me the most. I had it echoing in my head all the times my parents would say to me “don’t get too drunk,” “don’t end up alone in the taxi,” “cover yourself up.” And once again that puts all the blame on me (if something were to ever happen on me) and not the person responsible.

I also got annoyed at the fact that she’s 30 years old, living at home and working at a coffee shop, and that’s not good enough."

* If this story was triggering please contact LIFELINE at 13 11 14 or 1800 RESPECT.*

Image Sources: IMDB

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