Under the peachy guise of a girlish movie in pink and candy tones, which pretends to be either a grotesque comedy or a thriller about revenge, Promising Young Woman is a profound statement about society’s attitude towards women and violence against them.
The main character, Cassie, played by Carey Mulligan, is an attractive young woman, living with her parents and selling drinks in a hipster coffee shop, who turns into a wicked vigilante when the city’s lights go out. She goes to nightclubs and bars, pretending to be very drunk, and waits for the potential predator to hit on her so she could eventually bash his head in. The plot looks pretty cut and dry on paper, but there are some really cool hidden details you may have missed while watching Promising Young Woman.
1. Cassie’s hairstyles and outfits aren’t random.
You may think the movie’s MUA team loved their job so much that they decided to change Cassie’s hair every 15 minutes. But in reality, the hairstyles were inspired by other women she had seen getting assaulted. It’s like she dons the life and suffering of the victims in order to execute a proper vengeance.
2. Cassie’s default look was inspired by Brigitte Bardot.
Did you notice how she kind of reminds you of someone, but you just can’t tell who exactly? That’s because if Cassie had that tooth gap, she’d be a carbon copy of the fabulous Brigitte Bardot. And those luscious bangs clearly represent a shield that’s supposed to save her against the bad guys.
3. The Joker look.
You probably figured this one out. Her cute clown-ish makeup is probably a nod to Phoenix’s Joker. The way she smeared her lipstick was one of the most evocative scenes in the movie. It could also be symbolizing the dramatic changes Cassie has been going through and a sign of her psyche breaking slowly but surely.
4. The “supremely innocent” dress.
When Cassie visits the former lawyer, Mr. Green, who helped one of the bad guys slip through the cracks, she’s wearing this “Virgin Mary” dress, which helps her avoid any and all suspicions. He’s also the only one who repented for his actions, and it might have saved him from her wrath.
5. Cassie was meant to look like an evil blow-up doll.
The makeup team did their best to make this scene evoke some dark thoughts and a lot of fear. Big white eyes, puffy overdrawn lips, and the colorful wig made Cassie look very intense, almost horrifying. There’s a certain Harley Quinn vibe to it too, which makes sense since she’s all about that women empowerment.
6. Cassie’s horror nurse look.
That last scene almost looked like a horror movie! The stylists obviously tried to show off just how dark and twisted Cassie has become at the end of her journey. Those big eyes and the menacing kitchen knife give her character that unhinged quality. You don’t quite know if she’s off the rocker or if this all is just a dangerous game. But if you’ve seen “Promising Young Woman,” you know that it didn’t end well.