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‘Do Revenge’ Honest Review Of The Netflix Movie

“Do Revenge,” a vengeance-driven comedy about friendship, is as close to 1980s and 1990s high school movies as “Scream” was to post-Halloween slasher pictures. It is a collection of references and sometimes tediously self-deprecating humors. This seems to be meant to let the viewer know that the filmmakers are aware of your intentions. The film blends all its influences to create a unique movie that fully commits to its vision of highschool as a charmingly costumed, art-directed snake pit full of sadists who enjoy causing pain and embarrassment to others.

Jennifer Kaytlin Robinson, director-cowriter, borrowed the most cheeky plot from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train,” where a coldblooded killer entices a stranger “swap” murders so that the police assume the killings are random. This makes them more difficult to solve. The intent here is not homicide, but humiliation. Two high school students were killed by schemers and they plan to trade revenge missions so there are no footprints that can be traced back to their perpetrators.

Camila Mendes (“Riverdale”) plays Drea Torres, a Rosehill Private School student who is obsessed with Yale. Tracy Flick is a scholarship student at Rosehill Private School. She’s also the queen bee in a hive which includes Tara (Alisha) Boe, Meghan (Paris Berelc), and Montana (Maia Reficco). Drea is a popular, but feared person. She also has secret anxieties. Drea is an assimilationist Mexican American and lives in a tiny house she regrets. Despite being plagued with racial anxiety and class worries, she managed to climb to the top of a predominantly white, well-off high school. She’s at the top of the world when the story begins. Teen Vogue throws her a Gatsby-decadent celebration to celebrate her Teen of the Year award.

Drea is seen taking off her clothes for Max (Austin Abrams), and it’s leaked by someone on Facetime. All that Drea has accomplished melts away and she is left devastated and embarrassed. Drea believes Max leaked the video. Max denies the video was leaked, but once senior years begin, he reminds everyone about the shame of the heroine to ensure his own status as the institution’s most prominent and influential student. Max also founded the Cis Hetero Men Championing Female Identification Students League. This organization boasts about its “allyship”, but it is primarily a camouflage for Max, his brothers and their sisters to womanize without being called out as misogynists. This movie is a great example of humor. It acknowledges how silly and awkward some of the sensitive language sounds, but doesn’t minimize the pain of those who need more defenders.

Eleanor (Maya Hawke) is a lesbian of gangly appearance in standard Hollywood frump clothes. She’s traumatized by a summer camp incident years ago. Drea suggests that Eleanor and Drea make unlikely friends and swap revenge plots. Drea’s plan involves giving Eleanor an overhaul to make her a sexy, oddball newcomer. Max is attracted to her and she can gain trust in his inner circle. Even by high school movie standards, it’s ridiculously complex. It’s almost as if a Shakespeare cross-dressing comedy had been equipped with elements from “Clueless,” 10 Things I Hate About You,” Election, Rushmore, and “Cruel intentions.” (Sarah Michelle Gellar is the star of “Cruel Intentions,” as well as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Drea has a small role in Rosehill’s headmistress Rosehill. She advises Drea not to explode in anger, like she did when accusing Max of leaking the video.

Screenplay uses a few elements from Robinson’s MTV series, “Sweet/Vicious.” It is about two college students who plot vigilante revenge against sexual assailants. But the candy-store visuals designed by Alana Morshead and Hillary Gurtler help to make the story a social satire mixed with compassion. This movie shows people doing terrible things to one another, but at least some of them are able to feel sorry for themselves.

“Do Revenge,” while it has a strong connection to high school, isn’t as closely related to the actual school that the films that made it so beloved. It feels like there are very few adults in the world that showing up to help push the story forward can cause disruptions to normalcy. Cinematographer Brian Burgoyne and editor Lori Ball conspire with the director to keep the movie constantly winding its way forward while allowing for stylish grace notes, such as an Andersonian perfectly-symmetrical establishing shot or a voluptuous needle-drop that uses most–and in at least one case, all–of a song. The soundtrack features Alessia Carra, Tony K. Maude Latour and the Jonas Brothers Band. Half the cast are well into their twenties, while others appear to be older. There are many costume changes that reveal royal-style attire. Celeste Ballard and Robinson deserve credit for embracing the fantasy, even though they are footnoting it. The well-known sub-genre of high school vipers is just as popular as the Spaghetti Western. It’s lavishly produced and plotted. There are some aspects that each of these movies must include or they risk alienating the audience. For example, a makeover montage and a theatrically-styled monologue about trauma.

It is not sporty to talk about this last point. It’s enough to say that characters’ emotions constantly threaten to derail their goals, regardless of whether they are healthy or not. Also, the many open discussions about deception, impersonation and performance are text as much as subtext. Drea and Eleanor were best friends until they suddenly became enemies. Max’s opinion is still in flux until the end. Eleanor is more than we first think. The movie shows us that there’s more to Eleanor. (Hawke plays every beat perfectly, with her mother Uma Thurman’s deep voice and her father’s know-it all charm.

The movie is slow and sweet, revealing all the characters and setting the plot in place. The movie could have been shorter but still told the same story. You wouldn’t get the long scenes of people talking to each other and getting to know one another that elevate “Do Revenge.” beyond mere pastiche. Because the characters are constructeds, we shouldn’t feel sorry for them. The lead performances, direction and the joke-/not-joking vibe throughout the production make it possible.



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