By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram) | Click for audio version of the review
Drea is beautiful, fashionable and the most popular girl in high school… until her sex tape goes viral, and she suspects her boyfriend of leaking the clip. Then there’s Eleanor – awkward, plain and in therapy ever since a pretty girl in middle-school spread a nasty rumor about her. United by hatred against their peers, the two girls forge a secret friendship and plot to carry out their revenge for each other.
‘Shit! Should’ve streamed this with my girl squad,’ was one of my first thoughts while watching ‘Do Revenge’. Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, the 2022 Netflix film stars Camila Mendes as feisty but narcissistic Drea and Maya Hawke is new transfer student Eleanor with a blank slate. Before the girls get their hands dirty and go after their bullies, first there’s a makeover. Obviously. Then, Eleanor goes after campus God Max (Austin Abrams), while Drea targets Carissa (Ava Capri).
Like typical teen flicks set in a fancy rich-people school, ‘Do Revenge’ has glitzy posh pool-side parties, multiple cliques, no signs of adult supervision and kids wearing over-the-top outfits that look out of a fashion show. While that makes ‘Do Revenge’ exceedingly un-relatable for most viewers, it’s also ridiculously entertaining, in large parts due to the unlikely friendship between the leads. Camila and Maya make a mean duo, they are both adorable and despicable as two teen girls meticulously ruining the lives of some of their peers. Maya as Eleanor will remind “Stranger Things” fans of Robin, the two characters share quite a few traits; although we do get to see the actor in whole new shades too. Camila is chameleon like as the gorgeous Drea, from being a vulnerable ‘outsider’ who’s on a scholarship unlike her privileged classmates, to being a plain nasty narcissistic bitch… she makes you both like and hate her. I loved the platonic friendship between the protagonists and there are some poignant reflective tender moments that capture female companionship. If they made a post high-school ‘Adventures of Drea and Eleanor’ movie or series, I’d watch it in a heartbeat.
If nothing else, ‘Do Revenge’ screams girl power in its own twisted way and has a whole bunch of interesting women characters. Sarah Michelle Geller in her small cameo as the headmaster however was a little weird and out of place in the movie. Sophie Turner has a riotous little part as one of many bitchy girls you’ll meet through the runtime. The men just pale out. For example, Austin Abrams who plays Max, one of the antagonists, looked just right for the ‘rich, entitled asshole’ role, however, something felt lacking in his performance. He would’ve made a better lackey, than the all powerful, politically connected prick/campus King; but to be fair – Nawabs needn’t a personality.
While ‘Do Revenge’ gets a lot of ingredients right for an entertaining teen revenge drama, the creators get a little over-ambitious with a runtime. With an almost 2 hour long story, things begin to get slightly overstretched. There was a pretty good twist towards the 90 minute mark, and they should’ve wrapped the film in the next 15 minutes, instead things trudge along for another 15. The final climax is quite unrealistic to be true, but heck, it makes for a fun watch nonetheless. This is a pretty good pick for ‘girls night’ or well, ‘friends night’.
It’s a 7.5/10 from me.
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