The film Promising Young Woman is many things: a dark comedy-noir-thriller-revenge fantasy, and even part romantic comedy. The film centers on Cassie, a smart and complicated character seeking revenge on men who prey on drunk women. Cinematographer Benjamin Kračun first met director and writer Emerald Fennell while working on a short video project together. Fennell mentioned she was working on a feature project, and she eventually contacted Ben to let him know she had funding and was ready to shoot. Fennell had seen one of Ben’s previous films, Beast, which she felt had a similar sensibility.
Once Fennell sent the script, Ben read it and found himself completely hooked. He found it very exciting because it was so unlike any Hollywood script he’d seen- a taut thriller, but a fun and enjoyable popcorn movie with elements of romantic comedy. He could see that the film would spark a cultural discussion afterward.
For their first meeting, Ben put together images and ideas of what he thought the movie would look like- very dark, dramatic looks from films such as Gone Girl and Magnolia. Fennell came with a look book for a film full of pastel colors and the main character, Cassie, would dress in bright, happy colors. Ben was surprised at first, but Emerald had a very specific point of view for what she wanted. It was very clear from the beginning that it was Emerald’s vision and her voice, even though it was her first feature film. Ben likes having specificity at all times from the director, and you can see when a movie has carefully thought through everything. Cassie is in disguise, working at a bright coffee shop by day, and playing different drunk girl roles at night, planning for something bigger. Using the pastel palette in the film takes Promising Young Woman a step away from reality, and hides the darkest undertones of what is really going on, and the audience doesn’t see what’s coming.
You can pay to see Promising Young Woman streaming on VOD services.
Find Benjamin Kračun: https://benjaminkracun.com/
Find out even more about this episode, with extensive show notes and links: https://camnoir.com/ep116/
Sponsored by Hot Rod Cameras: www.hotrodcameras.com