Carey Mulligan Opens Up About The ‘Brilliant’ And ‘Difficult’ Ending To ‘Promising Young Woman’

(Spoilers for Promising Young Woman will be found below.)

Promising Young Woman premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and ever since, there’s been a lot of talk about the ending. Well, now that the comedy-thriller, starring Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan and written and directed by Emerald Fennell, is available on video on demand, everyone can see all what the fuss was about.

Here’s the part where I am adding a second SPOILER ALERT, because Promising Young Woman is good and you should watch it: Cassie (Mulligan) is killed at a bachelor party by Al (GLOW‘s Chris Lowell), the same guy who raped her best friend in college. He didn’t face legal consequence then, and nearly gets away with murder by smothering Cassie with a pillow (with help from Schmidt from New Girl), but he’s arrested on his wedding day thanks to Cassie’s forward thinking. It’s an unpleasant ending, even if Cassie gets a small bit of revenge, but it’s the one that Fennell thought was necessary.

“I think like everyone, when I was first writing it, I expected and wanted the ending that we all expected and wanted,” the former-Killing Eve writer told Entertainment Tonight. “You’re expecting for her at any moment to get out a machete, get out a gun and do this stuff that we’re used to seeing in movies like this. But once I was there, it wasn’t possible. It wasn’t honest. Women do not resort to violence very often, if ever — that’s one of the main tropes of this genre that is subverted — so it was important to me that the moment a woman is in a room and there’s a weapon and there’s a man there, there’s really only one way.” Mulligan agreed with Fennell’s decision, adding, “I found the ending very difficult and very satisfying. It was such a brilliant ending to the film… I absolutely felt in line with Emerald that you have to tell the truth about this kind of stuff.”

Promising Young Woman would be a more emotionally satisfying movie if Cassie kills Al and lives her best life. But with that ending, it’s a tragically honest movie.

(Via ET)