Promising Young Woman is a Revenge Movie, But It’s Also a Tragedy

By Abby Olcese
Originally published on thepitchkc.com

Forgiveness is a tricky thing. In the church, I was taught that we’re supposed to forgive the people who do us wrong. Simple enough in Sunday school—you take my cookie, I might get mad, but it’s not a huge deal.

I can forgive you. I’m still a Christian, and I still believe in forgiveness.

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve come to understand that it looks different when the transgression is more complicated than taking my Oreo during snack time. 

In Christianity, asking God for forgiveness comes with the understanding that you’re not going to blindly commit the same sin again. When we forgive others, the same sense of grace is present. We forgive not to diminish the fact we were hurt—wrong is still wrong—but because we’re hoping the person we forgive understands the consequences of their actions, and is sorry. It’s a healing process that’s meant to go both ways.

Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman is an exploration of what can happen to a victimized person when there is no atonement.

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