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The new film that raises important questions about consent

Cyan Turan
·2-min read
Photo credit: Focus Features
Photo credit: Focus Features

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you won’t have escaped the buzz around hot new film Promising Young Woman, which is available to screen from tomorrow, Friday 16 April.

Directed by Emerald Fennell (yep, the very same Emerald Fennell who played Camilla Parker-Bowles in The Crown), starring Carey Mulligan, Laverne Cox, and Alison Brie, and produced by Margot Robbie, you already know that it’s going to be good. And we can confirm that it is indeed a feminist masterpiece.

But it’s not just the starry cast we’ve fallen hard for – the movie raises important questions about sex and consent.

The film centres around Cassie, played by Carey Mulligan, who tricks men she meets in bars and clubs into thinking she’s too drunk to consent to sex. When they get home and the men try to assault her, she reveals herself to be stone cold sober and teaches them a lesson or two.

Cassie’s mission is driven by revenge – specifically, she wants to avenge her best friend Nina. It’s clear from early on in the film that something pretty awful happened to her while they were both at medical school.

As Cassie teaches these men some valuable lessons in, erm, not picking up women who can’t consent to sex in clubs, we slowly learn what happened to Nina.

Photo credit: Focus Features
Photo credit: Focus Features

Although the movie does a stellar job, sadly, these issues aren't confined to screens. When Cosmopolitan investigated the issue of men preying on drunk women in and outside nightclubs, we discovered that predators seem all too willing to ignore the fact that if a woman is too drunk to consent to sex and they go ahead anyway, that's rape.

Exclusive research we conducted showed that 57% of you feel unsafe as you walk home from clubs, while 25% don’t trust nightclub bouncers with their safety. And no wonder: over seven months in 2019, 961 sexual or violent crimes took place at, or near, nightclubs in ten of the UK’s most popular student cities.

The fact that these issues are dissected perfectly in such a massive movie is A. Good. Thing. We hope that Promising Young Woman raises much-needed awareness around when women can and can't consent. And, of course, that it wins all the awards.

The latest issue of Cosmopolitan UK is out now and you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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