Alfred Hitchcock’s influence appears in the teen black comedy on Netflix take revenge. It was inspired by his thriller 1951 Strangers on the trainWhich in turn was based on a novel he wrote The talented Mr. Ripley Author Patricia Highsmith. But instead of focusing on a devious murder scheme, take revenge It centers around a plot to kill the social status of two members of the It Crowd.
The movie fits neatly with the black comedy canon about the cruelty of teenage girls – think Heathers or I mean girls. Director Jennifer Kaiten Robinson (co-writer of Thor: Love and Thundercreator sweet / wicked) weaves a sharp 2022 update of this sort. Some romantic subplots slow down the mid-point of the film, but in the end, the film regains its momentum and bands together for a satisfying ending.
[Ed. note: This review contains setup spoilers for Do Revenge.]
take revenge Drea (Camila Mendes), formerly the most popular girl in school, follows her until she heard her – not only because her ex-boyfriend Max released her sex tape, but also because she punched him in the face afterwards. Derya attends her exclusive prep school in Miami on a scholarship, while her ex-husband (Austin Abrams) comes from a wealthy family. He has more social capital than her, so he is able to turn his friends and the rest of the school against her, claiming that a video clip from his phone was leaked, and that she assaulted him for no reason. Drea just wants to grit her teeth and make it into first year, but that changes when she meets transfer student Eleanor (Maya Hawke).
Years ago, Eleanor became a social outcast when her friend Carissa (Ava Capri) spread a rumor that Eleanor held her and forcefully kissed her. After landing at the same school as Carissa, Eleanor is afraid to see her again. After an emotional moment in the bathroom, Eleanor and Daria bond with the people who wronged them, devising a plan for revenge – but with an important caveat. The two decide to exchange goals for revenge: Daria will take out Carissa, while Eleanor infiltrates Max’s group of friends for the ultimate revenge.
Like other films in the middle school girls’ sub-genre, take revenge Focuses on complex social intrigues and evil populist groups. But it’s not derivative or cliched: rather, it’s a natural evolution of the 2022 film genre. Some parts of high school are statics, but youth culture evolves rapidly, so teen films—particularly those that adapt to older adults or pay tribute to their material—feel. outdated risk. take revenge He evades that curse because of the way Robinson and co-writer Celeste Ballard cleverly update some plot points.
For one thing, Max is the villain of 2022 – a rich, handsome white boy who uses his performative public awakening to hide his true motives. As an outstanding young man, Max is untouchable. But it just means that Derya and Eleanor have to devise a much more interesting plan to remove it – and at first, make it easier for them to root.
But as their actions escalate, so do their obsessions. Hawke and Mendes do a great job of never giving the audience an obvious person to cheer on. At first, their friendship seems inspiring, as they unite against those who have wronged them. But then it turns to one side and Sam. And then it turns into something else entirely.
It’s a great ride, all with soft, impact-worthy pastel hues. Part of the reason why movies are so popular Heathers And the I mean girls She became highly imaginative for her powerful visual palettes, which played with the mores of idyllic adolescence in their own era. take revenge He continues the trend, updating the look of the movie for those familiar with perfectly calibrated aesthetics that fit neatly into social media hashtags, whether it’s “Instagram witch” or #glamgirl.
When the movie focuses on revenge plots, or Elinor and Daria’s increasingly toxic relationship, it’s sharp and tight. But halfway through, some romantic intrigue is starting to take center stage. Drea gets involved with Carissa’s girlfriend, rebellious artist Ross (Rish Shah), while Eleanor flirts with Max’s sister Gabe (Talia Ryder). While some of these scenes are sweet, none of these relationships do much to make Eleanor or Dorea more sympathetic or more despicable. They seem to exist with the premise that teen movies need obligatory romances, and nothing more. They end up dragging the movie and slowing it down.
In the end, though, the movie moves back on to Eleanor and Drea—and better. A series of twists and turns pull them back together, playing each other in nerve-racking ways. At some points, it looks like the movie will turn into a moral statement about the dangers of revenge, especially when Drea’s college plans are in jeopardy. But Robinson and Ballard cleverly avoid those pitfalls, proving that they understand what audiences for these types of movies really want: the indirect thrills of watching wicked teenage girls go to great lengths to get what they want, while navigating the complex relationships they form. together. Without spoiling too much, Eleanor and Dorea get what they want and what they deserve. It is a satisfying outcome that does not punish or glorify them. Just ignore the cliched feeds as they attract their potential romantic interests.
take revenge It premieres on Netflix on September 16th.
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