Do Revenge – Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Image Credits: Netflix

“My therapist, the beloved Dr. Gratch, says that hurt people hurt people, but I just don’t think that applies to teenage girls. I think sometimes they’re just evil.”

I first heard about Do Revenge while watching a video analysis on Youtube; I was very curious about this new Netflix movie, so I watched it a couple of days later and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It turned out to be quite different from the movie I was expecting to watch and I found the message behind it very meaningful.

Netflix introduced this movie as “a mix between Cruel Intentions and Mean Girls with a nod to Hitchcock” and I think this description perfectly fits the tone and mood of Do Revenge; the movie undoubtedly pays homage to iconic ’90s flicks (it reminded me of other movies I love from that era, such as Clueless, Heathers and Jawbreaker, and this is probably also because fashion plays a significant role in all of them).

Do Revenge belongs to the black comedy genre with a queer element in it. The story revolves around Drea, played by Camila Mendes, who is very powerful at her high school and is considered a it girl (do it girls still exist? I suggest you have a look at the video essay“Why Are There No It Girls Anymore?” by Jordan Theresa on YouTube. It probably explains why this movie is filled with ’90s nostalgia while addressing current issues as well). Things change for Drea when a private video of her gets leaked among the students and it sure looks like her boyfriend Max, who is also very popular, is responsible for it. Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, is a new student who is rather shy and feels very uncomfortable with having to attend the same school as Clarissa, a girl who once bullied her during summer camp when they were thirteen. Drea and Eleanor form an unusual alliance/friendship, setting up a plan to take revenge on people who have mistreated them. This creates a series of unexpected twists and turns; also, there are many funny moments in the film that convey deeper themes, making the viewer wonder if revenge is really worth it after all. As the girls will find out, revenge most often comes at a price and can lead to bad consequences.

Image Credits: Netflix

Fashion is indeed a part of the movie as well, since it is a vehicle through which the characters express their various personalities. The costumes were designed by Alana Morshead, who took inspiration from iconic teen hits like Gossip Girl when creating a look for the characters. Since they are all attending Rosehill Country Day, a private school, she designed preppy pieces like capes and sweater vests in pastel tones, especially lilac and mint.

Accessories were carefully selected to complete the looks too, like the pink mini bag Drea carries around, which is very reminiscent of the ones created by Jacquemus. Off-campus, the outfits are very colorful but the costume designer decided to focus on niche brands and thrift market finds; she told The Zoe Report: “You know when you look something up and you’re like «Ugh, great. It’s Chanel. I could never afford that. » I wanted people to be able to attain the pieces in Do Revenge. I also understand what it’s like to know that you can do something or want someone to believe in you, because you don’t have the experience. So when I see something cool, I think people should see it.”

The acting in this movie is very good, and the two main characters are played brilliantly by Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke. Sarah Michelle Gellar has a cameo in the movie, as she is playing the school headmistress; I really appreciated her performance and it reminded me of her iconic film roles in the ’90s, especially Cruel Intentions.

I loved this movie, it was pretty fun and exciting in its own chaotic way but also very good at dealing with themes that are sometimes hard to address properly. The soundtrack mixes ’90s and modern music pieces that help give the right vibes to the film, with songs from the Cranberries and Fatboy Slim among others.

Do Revenge has now entered the list of my all-time favorite teen comedies and I will probably watch it again soon because it is definitely worth it!

Image Credits: Netflix

OTHER MOVIES YOU MAY LIKE: if you enjoyed Do Revenge and would like to watch similar movies, there are so many options to choose from. Mean Girls (2004) is one of the most iconic teen movies ever made; I was a fan of Lindsay Lohan when I was little so I watched this movie when it came out even though I was probably way too young to watch it (I had just turned eleven). Clueless (1995) is a great teen comedy starring Alicia Silverstone, it is so much fun and some of her character’s lines have become legendary throughout the years, reaching cult status. Jawbreaker (1999) is an underrated gem that I got to watch only last year and they are both great comedies in terms of fashion as well (I work in the fashion industry so I always pay a lot of attention to the role of fashion in film). Cruel Intentions (1999) is one of my favorite black comedies and I watched it multiple times during high school; probably a bit darker than Do Revenge, it is a modern take on Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) and while the characters are somewhat despicable, there is something riveting about the whole movie. The same is true for Poison Ivy (1992), which also belongs to the thriller genre.

In addition, it is impossible not to mention the film that is now considered the precursor to the teen black comedy genre: Heathers (1988), starring Winona Ryder, an intelligent, satyrical movie that is also wickedly fun.

All these movies emphasize how important it is to be yourself and show yourself for the person you are, without trying to impress others, a topic that has stayed relevant through the decades.


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