coming to Digital Download 22nd February
Director: Emerald Fennell
Writer: Emerald Fennell (Screenplay)
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Adam Brody, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox
Plot: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
Tagline – Take her home and take your chances.
Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Promising Young Woman starts as we meet Cassandra (Mulligan) who goes around meeting men in a drunken state, where she teaches lessons to them who try to take advantage of vulnerable women. She gave up her career in medical school to work in a small coffee shop, where she carefully plans her revenge on the people that did her wrong in the past.
As Cassandra meets Ryan (Burnham) she looks to complete her mission, only for it to take one more twist, which will give her the closure she has been desiring.
Thoughts on Promising Young Woman
Characters & Performances – Cassandra was once a promising medical student who dropped out after an incident, she now works in a coffee shop and spends her nights looking to send a message to men who take advantage of drunk women, she is on a mission to get revenge, something she has planned for and wants to see people experience the pain she did. She is calm and calculated with every action, not taking any abuse from any man. Carey Mulligan does give us a career best performance in a role that shows just how easily someone can be broken by never getting the closure she needed. Ryan is the former classmate who has go onto become a doctor, he comes into Cassandra’s life, offering her a chance to escape this darker life she has found herself in. Bo Burnham does show excellent chemistry with Mulligan to make his character different to most of the other guys in the film. We do meet a host of people in Cassandra’s life, which include her parents that want her to move on, work friend Gail who is filled with a positive attitude, along with the people Cassandra has been lining up to get revenge on. Each member of the cast shines in this film too.
Story – The story here follows a former med student who is looking to teach men a lesson on taking advantage of them, while planning her own revenge on the people that never listened to a story in her life. This story is a smart revenge plot, which is clearly trying to raise the awareness of sexual assault and the lack of ways of solving the problems around it, with the usual ‘he said, she said’ reaction to it happening, forcing our lead character to solve the problem in her own way. The way this story is told, is very stylish, showing how close to being completely over the edge Cassandra could be, or how easily she give this up and try and live a normal life, which is a big part of the appeal, most revenge thrillers, usually show the person having no other option than to continue. The one part of the story I would have liked to have seen more about, it what she does to the men, we learn she doesn’t kill them, but just what does she do to send the message?
Themes – Promising Young Woman discusses the biggest talking themes of the modern era, showing how the #Metoo movement is being handled, showing how the ‘I was a kid’ argument can’t be an excuse anymore, it is played out like a revenge thriller that is teaching the people the lesson in a way where they can feel the pain of what might have happened too. The use of music is wonderful too, with the twist on the Toxic song playing a huge part of the biggest environment we are tackling here.
Director: Rob Marshall
Writer: Robin Swicord (Screenplay) Arthur Golden (Book)
Starring: Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yeoh, Mako, Li Gong, Tsai Chin
Plot: Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.
Runtime: 2 Hours 25 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Memoirs of a Geisha starts when Chiyo and her sister get taken from their small fishing town and separated, Chiyo is raised in an Okiya working as a maid looking to escape, living under the Geisha of the Okiya, where Hatsumomo (Gong) the most popular in the town, takes an instant dislike to her.
With Chiyo continuing to try and escape, she loses her chance to become a Geisha, becoming just a maid, until she comes of age, Mameha (Yeoh) takes Sayuri (Zhang) under her wig to make her a geisha, in an attempt to gain control of the area, to help her get one over Hatsumomo. This will slowly show how Sayuri will become one of the most popular geishas in history, with her heart being drawn to the chairman (Watanabe).
Thoughts on Memoirs of a Geisha
Characters & Performances – Sayuri is taken from her small fishing family when she is young and thrown into the big city, with plans of either going to be raised as a geisha or fall into a life as a maid, she does get drawn out to be seen as something special with her beautiful eyes, which will help her tell the story of how she became the biggest most celebrated geisha in the land. Ziyi Zhang brings the beauty and innocent look to this role that will make her standout in any crowd. Chairman is the one person that shows true kindness to a younger Sayuri, he captured her heart, with his nature always being honest and good, he never wants to take advantage of the situations he could find himself in. Ken Watanabe was great in this role, being a character we didn’t see around in many scenes, filled with different mentality of men. Mameha does teach Sayuri about the world she is looking to enter, knowing she could help her in the long run, becoming a mother she never had. Michelle Yeoh brings the elegance to the world we are entering.
Story – The story here follows a young girl that is taken from her family and thrown into the world of geishas, where she must look to adapt to survive, while learning on a daily basis of how this world works to become one of the most celebrated geisha in Japan. This story does bring us into the world which has changed through history, showing how the women would have the power over the men, showing us how one woman learnt to adapt to this world, where even if she has the power, she couldn’t have the love. This could show how history has changed with how women are treated, where the Japanese culture pushed for a different approach to make them more important.
Themes – Memoirs of a Geisha has beautiful settings, showing the geisha world, within the big city, using the costumes to make the character look even more glamourous.
Final Thoughts – Memoirs of a Geisha is a visually beautiful story of one women reaching her power.