The following contains minor spoilers for Do Revenge, now on Netflix
I was excited about Do Revenge from the instant that it got announced. A high school drama all about wronged girls getting back at the people who hurt them? Iconic. One of them being a lesbian? Even better. With the incredible work of actors Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke, this movie not only lived up to expectations, it exceeded them.
Do Revenge centers around a group of rich kids at a private high school who all date each other and screw each other over. Drea Torres (Mendes) is the scholarship student of the group who rose to peak popularity and then came crashing down when her boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) leaked a sex tape that she made and nobody believed that he did it. That’s where Eleanor (Hawke) comes in. She, too, was wronged by a girl at their school, and she’s ready to partner up and get revenge.
Every single moment that I thought I knew where this film was going, it managed to surprise me, which is something I’ve ceased to expect from Netflix movies at this point. There was a revenge climax early in the film that brought action to the forefront, and then the rest of the movie was centered around the relationship dynamics between Drea and Eleanor.
The queerness in this movie was treated with such care and love. Two openly queer women making a Taylor Swift reference and then kissing while Silk Chiffon by Phoebe Bridgers plays? That is the type of pure queerness that I need in all of my movies. Do Revenge really set the bar. Not to mention lesbian villain Carissa is played by out gay actress Ava Capri.
Not to mention, this movie was also hilarious. Just when it was settling into a consistently angry tone, something would happen that would make me laugh and lighten the mood once again. The outfits were on point– I don’t know much about fashion, but I do know that I envied each and every outfit that the girls in this movie wore. The voiceover monologues, which I normally despise, somehow worked well here. It took the place of needless exposition and drawn out scenes in favor of cut shots that increased the artsyness of the film in general.
Then, there was an absolutely INCREDIBLE plot twist that caught me completely and totally by surprise. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t, and that made it even better. High school politics are complicated, and it’s complicated to strike the balance between being overly dramatic and making them seem real, and I think what made this movie so good is that everything that happened felt real even in its drama.
Most of this was due to the fact that the pain that Eleanor and Drea experienced was so vividly on display. It made me feel sympathy towards both of them, even when they were unnecessarily ruining other people’s lives. I was glad that there were moments when their hypocrisy was put on display and the evilness of the things they did were pointed out. I was also glad that in the end, while the power of the patriarchy was made obvious, so was the relationship between the women who wanted to take it down.
You might have all of the odds stacked against you, but in the end, you can still Do Revenge.