Do Revenge, review: a comedy in the footsteps of Mean Girls | Pop Culture

“I don’t want to make it pay, I want to burn it, disintegrate it.” It is the sweet taste of revenge that stars in the new comedy by Jennifer Kaytin Robinsonwith an unequivocal title Do Revenge. Maya Hawke (Stranger Things) And Camila Mendes (Riverdale) meet in a story of angry high schoolers, never-extinguished grudges and evil plans to destroy enemies once and for all. The film, produced by Likely Story, debuted on Netflix on September 16.

Drea and Eleanor

Do Revenge and American society

The story of Robinson and Celeste Ballard it exudes everything that American high school films have always placed in the collective imagination. Drea (Camila Mendes), popular girl, undergoes an episode of revenge porn and is marginalized by schoolmates. Convinced that it was her boyfriend, she soon wants to take revenge in a big way. You meet soon Eleanor (Maya Hawke), also excluded from the groups after a partner, Carrissa, outed her by spreading rumors about an alleged forced approach. By joining forces, Drea and Eleanor become a real one revenge machinebut not everything will always go according to plan.

Eleanor and Drea
Do Revenge

Do Revenge it is a new product but it is also the child of a tradition of American cinema between the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000s, full of a narrative that, if in part wants to mirror society, offers paradoxical scenarios to the public of these “high schools” where there is no quiet day, for better or for worse. The adolescent age in the cinema it is always presented as the richest in daily adventures, or as a real hell. Not that this is so far from reality, but American cinema puts its own, romanticizing or, conversely, exasperating a school routine that has always made us think “But do these things really happen in the United States?”.

A “contemporary Mean Girls”

The new Netflix film wants to re-propose this imaginary in a contemporary key, with scenarios linked to a current context, both for the progress in technologies and for a new way of approaching the reality that surrounds us. In Do Revenge we speak openly, and naturally, of feminism and male chauvinism, of the oppression of patriarchy, as well as the question of gender identity, sexual orientation, without the film necessarily having to proclaim itself as a representation of the community queer. A mistake that the platform has made, for example, with First Kill, canceled series, advertised as a symbol of the LGBTQ + community but which, in essence, transmitted very little. To learn more, find our review of First Kill.

Eleanor and her girlfriend Gabbi
Do Revenge

Nonetheless, it is natural to notice an incredible resemblance to a cult that really marked the 2000s: it is Mean Girlsfilm that made it Lindsay Lohan And Rachel McAdams iconic in the roles of Cady Heron and Regina George. Although with a different weave, certainly more articulated and – with great surprise – full of small twists, Do Revenge is a very clear quote from his great predecessor. In the same way, the camouflage expedient is resumed among the bitter enemies to pretend to be one of them and sabotage the group, an always effective narrative gimmick, but certainly nothing so new.

The film, however, adds a maturity strongly linked to the present day, sometimes in an almost parodic and satirical sense. As mentioned, the fight against patriarchy and machismo are proposed in Do Revenge in an almost ironic way: men who proclaim themselves feminists and lovers of women are mocked, it reflects on how a mistake made by a man is negligible but unforgivable if committed by the female counterpart. In short, we are dealing with themes and dynamics that years ago might not have been treated so openly and with so much “denunciation”, hidden behind a wise sarcasm.

The cast of Do Revenge

Of course, they will never be as legendary as the protagonists of Mean Girls or other similar comedies, but both Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes (the latter much more focused) fall well in the shoes of their characters. For the star of Stranger Things, that of Eleanor is a decidedly polar opposite, but still convincing role. It is pleasant to see Uma Thurman’s daughter in an unprecedented context, in which she certainly enjoyed herself. Perhaps more than alone, she works even better paired with Drea, a figure who fits Mendes perfectly, with her vengeance expressions, evil looks and shrewd jokes, like a true high school “popular”.

Eleanor
Do Revenge

The two actresses, who have finished high school for a while, still manage to play much younger girls. Think of Camila that she is 28 and she doesn’t look them at all. The credit undoubtedly also goes to the art department and the skilful use of make-up and costumes. With a pleasant surprise, the cast is enriched with two truly unexpected appearances: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the vampire slayer, Scooby-Doo) and a small stake of Sophie Turner (game of Thrones)

From victim to executioner it is a moment

The merit of Do Revenge is not to remain a comedy for its own sake. Compared to the tradition of twenty years ago, contemporary filmography tries to leave a message to its audience, despite the fact that it can resort to very imaginative plots to do so. Through the voice of the characters, the script asks important questions. How much can pretending to be someone else make you lose consciousness of yourself? What is right or wrong? Can the victim turn into an executioner? The theme of the bullying in school settings is an evergreen in American cinema of this genre. Drea and Eleanor, humiliated and targeted, seek a redemption which, however, soon turns into an obsessive desire to destroy those who have harmed them. They are now the ones who have the knife on the side of the handle, but at what price?

Do Revenge, which pleasantly makes you laugh with the absurd plans of revenge of the two protagonists, with an antithetical process also wants to make us reflect on the consequences of similar feelings, demonstrating that it is hard to choose between what is right and what is easy. So this new comedy wants both to entertain, to tease the minds and to spice up the routine, and to communicate with the viewer, albeit with a certain lightness, putting them in front of a reality that, as in adolescence, can be reflected in reality. more adult.

A film that speaks through color

From a purely aesthetic point of view, Do Revenge it is a true explosion of colors. He hinted at the clever use of costumes to hide the true age of the cast, but this is also well thought out in relation to photography. Bright and bright palettes dominate the scene, almost as if to allude to that apparently glittering world, which hides its ugliness well behind a satisfying and captivating appearance. There are no particular flashes of direction or editing, but the feeling you get is that of looking at a fresh, dynamic and pleasant work.

Conclusions

Do Revenge is a complete comedy, a movie that “Makes you laugh but also reflect”. Daughter of a trend that has depopulated in the 2000s, this mirror of American adolescence, as cinema has always wanted to tell us, does not exactly propose something new, but does it in its own way, strongly current and linked to problems and the different realities of our day. Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes may not make their mark like some figures of the past, but they are two excellent “partners in crime”.

Do Revenge, review: a comedy in the footsteps of Mean Girls | Pop Culture