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The Controversial Revenge Drama Dominating Amazon Video

A disturbing yet powerful revenge drama is heating up Amazon Video.

Written and directed by Emerald Fennell — best known for her work as showrunner on season two of Killing Eve and her recent turn as a young Camilla Parker-Bowles on The CrownPromising Young Woman is an undeniably tough watch at times, but it's also one of the most necessary and important films of the year thus far.

This dark, gripping film focuses on Carey Mulligan's Cassie, who, despite a former life as a promising medical student, still lives with her parents at thirty years old, working a dead end job. However, at night, her life takes on a different hue; Cassie spends her evenings at local bars, pretending to be drunk to see which man will take her home, only to reveal that she's completely sober at the crucial moment. All of this is done in service of Cassie's unseen friend, Nina, who suffered a humiliating, public sexual assault during their time in medical school.

We certainly won't spoil the twists and turns of Promising Young Woman here, but rest assured it's worth a rental. Here's why you should check out Promising Young Woman, and here's what Fennell and Mulligan had to say about the finished film.

Emerald Fennell views Promising Young Woman as a "morality tale"

In an interview with Variety around the film's January 2021 release, Fennell revealed her true intention behind the film, describing it as a "morality tale." As Fennell told Variety, "In terms of the way it was shot, there are lots of parts of it almost touching on Greek tragedy — Cassie as the avenging angel who comes and offers redemption or punishment. And it's ultimately, for me, a film about forgiveness, but that people only get forgiveness if they admit wrongdoing. She's called Cassandra as a kind of nod to the original Cassandra."

"So the whole purpose of the movie is to say, look at these two paths in front of this promising young woman," Fennell continued. "One is just skipping through daisies and delicious, beautiful candy land. And one is hard and lonely and bleak. Who chooses the hard road? It's a horrible road to choose. And isn't it funny how frightening a character becomes — particularly a woman becomes — when they say, 'Actually, I'm right. And so I'm going to keep going. Even when everyone else is bored. And even when everyone else is furious, I'm going to keep going.'"

For her part, Mulligan, who told Variety that the script was unlike anything she'd ever read, recalled how Fennell explained the film to her: "Emerald said a couple of times [the movie] a beautifully wrapped candy, and when you eat it, you realize it's poisonous. There is something so delicious about this. There's nothing didactic about it; there's nothing that's telling anyone what to think. And there's nothing boring about it."

"The reason I wanted to be in it is because I felt it was nothing I'd ever read or seen before," Mulligan went on. "And I want people to feel that feeling that I felt when I read it: of I can't believe this concoction can work. And what a thrill. It's a magic trick, and you don't see that very much these days. You kind of always understand how the magician's done it. And with this, I just don't think you do."

Promising Young Woman is available to rent for $19.99 on Amazon Video now.