On September 16th, 2022, Netflix released a brand new movie called Do Revenge that will surely appeal to members of Generation Z. The film was directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke, two of Hollywood’s rising stars in the ostensibly dark comedy, play the seductive “vengeance mothers” in this tale of teenage revenge.
Drea, a character played responsible for the leak, leading Drea to punch him in the face. It’s that punch that unleashes the wrong woke “ally,” and it’s his ever-so-high position in school that draws Drea’s emerging friends to his side, leaving them isolated while she’s forced to grapple with the anguish of her social life to cope life is drastically reduced.
Drea is pushed towards Maya Hawke’s character Eleanor due to the course of events and the aftermath. Mendes is known for living a “perfectly run” high school life, which has helped her become known as one of the treasured things on the map, belonging to the it clique at her exclusive high school. Her world is turned upside down when her lover Max, played by Austin Abrams, broadcasts her nude film to the school they both attend. When challenged, he claims that he is not the one handed to her after this very public display of hostility. Eleanor was similarly wronged by a girl when they were younger and attended camp together. All of this started with the intention of getting revenge on each other, which eventually led to the formation of a possible alliance, which then evolved into an unlikely friendship between the two.
According to the official synopsis of the film on Netflix, the film is:
IN THIS GLITTERING AND STRONG BLACK COMEDY, TWO TEENS WHO ATTEND AN EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOL JOIN FORCES TO DEFEAT EACH OTHER’S ENEMIES.
Do Revenge is stylistically comparable to another of Netflix’s most recent releases, Heartbreak High, but features a far more vibrant color palette than the latter. Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo’s music, like any other teen movie, comes full circle. Without Rodrigo’s Brutal, you just can’t fully experience the path youthful vengeance is taking at this point.
The plan outlined by Do Revenge uses allusions to a number of older as well as more recent collections of works that fall into the same general genre. The portrayal of Mendes’ character is strikingly similar to that of Euphoria’s Maddy Perez. Like Perez, Mendes’ character is a woman of color who isn’t the stereotypical rich high school beauty who takes on the lead role. You can also point out the obvious parallels that exist between this book and films like Heathers and Mean Girls. The image from Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless, released in 1995, is also incorporated into Hawke’s makeover montage of the new socially awkward girl, performed by the former social queen.
The purpose of citing these archetypal titles is to draw attention to the fact that the new film on Netflix tends to follow many of the fundamental important traits of this genre as the audience wants. There is a strong presence of social hierarchy in high school, complete with the formation of various cliques and the consumption of members of more popular groups by the less popular ones. One of the most fundamental changes is that Abrams’ version of the It Boy takes the place of the much admired It Girl. This decision has the effect of drawing the film’s attention to the restrictive sisterhood that exists within the story, which oddly only benefits the main characters.
The decision to dress the characters in pastel colors popular with Gen Z greatly contributed to the film’s visually appealing atmosphere. On the other hand, the director enjoys it by playing a game with it. After the first half of the film, a twist reminiscent of the Blake Lively film Simple Favor is introduced. This twist may or may not have been predictable, but it’s very Hitchcockian in the sense that it refers to teenagers. The color change in Mendes’ uniform is crucial to the plot, though perhaps not seen as some kind of foreshadowing. Her first outfit, which was revenge-motivated and all green, stands in stark contrast to Hawke’s character, who wears beautiful purple clothing. The director’s storytelling involves a very strategic and deft move in the form of transitioning between these color themes at a certain point in the narrative.
Coming back to the film’s premise, there are hardly any adults amidst the overwhelming number of young people that can be seen on screen. The film with the cruel intentions The only exception is Sarah Michelle Gellar, who once again calls back the time of such films in the 90s. Despite the fact that the cast for the various other characters was top-notch, they are little more than parts of the game played by the film’s protagonists and antagonists. One might think that the famous Sophie Turner also plays a role in the film. Their existence seems like an inevitable component and the one that makes the least sense. No one is substantial enough or has more to contribute to the Mendes-Hawke collaboration than playing the role of filler.
And last but not least, the romantic subplots. They are the most distracting aspect of the film. Despite all the additions, the romantic resolution at the end sticks to the notion of happy endings prevalent in the 1990s and 2000s, according to which a happy ending is associated with the protagonists discovering their superior (romantic) half.
Is Revenge worth watching?
The social commentary on faux wakeness, which is more of an afterthought in the film, and Abrams’ nemesis, which seems relatively underrated, are two big areas where Do Revenge seems to fall short of its potential. The two main characters spend the entire film plotting their vengeance against the antagonist, but when it finally executes, they find that it doesn’t even bring them satisfaction. In a youth-inhabited society where no one is black or white and where it is impossible to identify an unshakable ally or a formidable foe, the absence of a vile mastermind may be intentional or accidental.
In the end, the resolution offers enough satisfaction, at least for the joint revenge party that Mendes and Hawke aspired to be, as it should have been. The complementary performances of Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke are the main reason you should watch this movie, rather than just skip it because it’s an attention-grabbing feast of nostalgia. Their energy feeds into each other and explodes on screen, making the journey an even more exciting visual experience for us. If you pay attention to these “two wounded soldiers on the battlefield of youth” along with their pseudo-Shakespearean orations, then the film will draw you in. Because of this, I recommend that you only watch it for the two of them. Troubled platonic soulmates for victory. Do Revenge is now available to watch in its entirety on Netflix.
Drea and Eleanor, two high school students who attend the same class together, find their lives turned upside down when they are expelled from the high school they attended together. Drea experiences feelings of humiliation as a result of a topless film of herself accidentally shared with others alongside her boyfriend Max. After a rumor spreads that she tried to kiss Carrissa while holding her and the attempt to do so begins to spread, Eleanor is shunned by her peers and eventually becomes an outcast. Drea and Eleanor become friends and make a pact to defend themselves against the bullies that have both victimized them.
On October 14, 2020, it was reported that Netflix was in the process of developing the film, then titled Strangers. The film was co-written and directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who drew inspiration for the project from Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951). Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke are slated to star in the November 2020 production. In early 2021, it was announced that there would be additional cast members.
Filming was scheduled to take place in Los Angeles in early 2021. The last scene was shot in August 2021.
- Camila Mendes as Drea Torres
- Maya Hawke as Eleanor Levetan/Cutler
- Rish Shah as Russ Lee
- Sophie Turner as Erica Norman
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Principal
- Austin Abrams as Max Broussard
- Eliza Bennett as Jessica
- Alisha Boe as Tara
- Talia Ryder as Gabbi Broussard
- Paris Berelc as Meghan
- Jonathan Daviss as Elliott
- Maia Reficco as Montana
- Ava Capri as Carissa Jones
- Francesca Reale as Ariana
- Olivia Sui as Sage
- Rachel Matthews as Allegra