There Is Something Disturbing In Promising Young Woman

This morning I went outside to have some light South Indian breakfast with coffee (because it’s never enough) and while I was having coffee, a rim of thoughts struck my head that

I need to write on

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

The movie I watched last night. At the end of the film, I felt somewhat unsatisfied, a little angry and impotently sad. This was not the end. This is not the solution but what could it be then? Last night, I thought I was okay with it. Another good movie done; experience-wise, it makes you feel something and if it gets the nomination (which it did) or wins, I will be happy. And more important, this film is made by a lady that is the reason this film is a little different than anyone’d imagined.

Okay, I am going way ahead of myself.

First, the disclaimer: This is not a review.

Promising Young Woman is a story of a college dropout girl, who works in a coffee shop in her 30-ish and seeks vengeance against everyone involved in ruining her best friend’s life after her rape in a college party, including the rapist and his accomplices. – Pretty intense, huh?

Well, not as intense as the Jennifer Kent movie, The Nightingale. I still feel chills in my bone whenever I see the frame where the lead is wandering with a rifle to hunt her rapist who also was responsible for the killing of her husband and the kid.

The plot is not so similar but both were about revenge. The Nightingale, in the end, calmed me whereas Promising Young Woman disturbed me. The main difference between these two stories is that the latter shows the world and characters around this incident and how it treats the victim and the rapist. The bystanders, onlookers, college kids (who were grownups now) and relatives & lawyers of the rapist had forgiven and almost validated the horrible incident. Except a few, rest would never learn their lesson. They would never change.

This, right this is also the truth of the world around us, no matter which culture or society you belong to. The reason is the underlying oppression of women in a patriarchal society. This undeniable fact about the world disturbs me.

If you want to learn more about the patriarchy and how women were confined to the role of secondary human (or gender), slave or an object, do read Kamla Bhasin’s 40-page book What is Patriarchy? By Kali for women. Also, I recommend a Hindi film named Thappad, screenplay by Mrunmayee Lagoo and directed by Anubhav Sinha.

I urge everyone, who is reading this, to watch these films, complete its full run-time and observe how you are reacting and try to understand why such a reaction. That’s all I have to say. Now, I feel fine.

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