Straight from its intro blasting Charli XCX’s “Boys,” its clear that Promising Girl‘s director, Emerald Fennell, intended to use the film’s music to enhance the twisted plot– and utilize the songs as a source of untainted irony. The bubblegum soundtrack acts as a mask for the movie’s extremely serious styles, similarly to how Cassie paints on her red lipstick every night and makes men believe she’s lost, counting down the minutes to when they’ll try something without permission. There is so much more hiding beneath the surface, symbolized by Cassie’s own juxtaposition of sweet and safe on the outdoors, cold vengeance on the inside (although not almost as ice cold as the men).

Although the movie’s author, Anthony Willis, told Signboard, “there were a lot of tunes in the movie that are used actually ironically in the settings they’re utilized in,” Fennell was quick to mention she is a true fan of each tune to Vanity Fair “I desired it to be an extremely female soundtrack,” she said. “I wished to utilize popular song, particularly popular song by people like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton that isn’t usually taken seriously. I think in basic, that’s a nasty, undermining thing of our culture to designate what’s good and what’s not.”

Read on for an analysis of each of the motion picture’s song choices and why they’re so efficient.


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