Do Revenge Movie Review and Movie Summary (2022)

Enter Eleanor (Maya Hawke), a curmudgeonly white lesbian in standard-issue Hollywood clothing who is still traumatized by an incident that occurred at summer camp years ago. Eleanor and Drea become unlikely friends, and Drea suggests swapping revenge plans. Drea’s involves giving Eleanor a makeover to turn her into a sexy weirdo newcomer, catching Max’s attention and drawing her into his inner circle, where she can win his trust and pick the brains of all the people who were complicit in Drea’s downfall. It’s absurdly complicated, even by high school movie standards. It is as if a transversal Shakespearean comedy had been equipped with elements from “Ignorant“”10 things I hate about you“”Choice“”Rushmore“, and “Evil intentions.” (Sarah Michelle Gellarstar of “Cruel Intentions” as well as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” has a small role as headmistress of Rosehill, who advises Drea to channel her anger instead of exploding into a rage, as she did while accusing Max of leak the video.)

The script mines a few of the same thematic elements as Robinson’s MTV series “Sweet/Vicious,” about a pair of college students who plot vigilante revenge against sexual assaulters; but the candy store visuals overseen by the costume designer Alana Morshead and production designer Hillary Gurtler orient the story as a social satire with a splash of compassion. People do horrible things to each other in this movie, but at least a few of them have the decency to feel bad about it.

“Do Revenge” has no more relation to actual high school than the movies its creators love so much. There are so few adults around that when a relative, teacher, or administrator shows up to push the story forward, it feels like a disruption of normalcy. Cinematographer Brian Burgoyne and editor Lori Ball conspires with the director to keep the film constantly moving forward while allowing for stylish grace notes, such as an Andersonian perfectly-symmetrical establishing shot or a voluptuous needle-drop that uses most—and in at least one case, all – of a song. (Unmissable soundtrack mixes Billie Eilish, Alessia CaraTony K, Maude Latour, Jonas Brothers Band and Taylor Swift.) Half the cast is well into their twenties (and a few seem older), and there are countless costume changes that reveal clothes of regal finesse. Kudos to Robinson and co-author Celeste Ballard to lean into the imagination even as they note it. The lavishly produced, overplotted high school viper movie is as well-established a subgenre as the Spaghetti Western. This means that there are certain aspects that each of them must contain or risk alienating the audience, such as a makeover montage; a theatrically styled soul-bleeding monologue about trauma; and a series of heel turns and face turns that keep the audience on their toes.

It is not sporting to say much more about the latter. Suffice it to say that the characters’ emotions keep threatening to derail the goals they set for themselves, whether healthy or unhealthy, and that the many frank discussions of deception, impersonation, and performance are text as well as subtitle. Drea and Eleanor are the best of friends until they suddenly aren’t. Our opinion of Max remains in flux until the final act. There is more to Eleanor than we first assume; whatever you predict in your head while reading is not quite what the movie gives you. (Hawke, who has her mother Uma Thurman’s smoky wounded voice and her father’s laid-back know-it-all charm, hits every beat just right.)

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