Film Review: “Do Revenge”


Screengrab from: "Do Revenge"

“Do Revenge” was directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and released on Sept. 16 2022 and stars Maya Hawke, Camila Mendes and Austin Abrams in a teen dramedy film.

Sophia Sailer, Editor-in-Chief

“Do you wanna know how you can tell when you really have reached the top? When someone wants to destroy you,” (Drea, “Do Revenge”).

Three extremely recognizable actors to the teenage eye come together to create, in my opinion, the first iconic Netflix high school drama. These are the only characters that matter in the film.

First introduced is Camila Mendes playing Drea, a popular girl in her high school that has gained popularity through work instead of class. She gives an Anna Delvey vibe, but if Anna Delvey was a serial killer. Mendes’ acting isn’t necessarily Oscar worthy, but the writing of this film makes up for it.

Austin Abrams comes out of the cracks and plays the perfect modern boyfriend “Max” to Mendes’ character, psychopathically expressing love to her through asking for nudes (which is jarring after seeing his character in “Euphoria”).

Lastly, Eleanor, portrayed by Maya Hawke, is the most interesting character in the film. Eleanor has underlying motives and hidden love interests throughout the film. She is the eyes of the audience, and she sees how dumb the revenge scheme is while also having her own schemes in the film.

“Do Revenge” far exceed my initial expectations of the flick. Netflix’s high school dramas up until this point have repeatedly been flops, but “Do Revenge” not only has rounded and complicated female characters, aesthetically pleasing mise en scène, but has complicated and unique themes that have never been shown before on screen.

One theme in this film that stood out to me was the constant parallels to “The Most Dangerous Game”. “The Most Dangerous Game” is a story about a hunter who gets bored by hunting animals, so he decides to hunt humans.

At the start of “No Revenge”, Max leaks Drea’s nudes to everyone in school, and then he later tells a speech about how he never loved her or anyone he has ever dated. It is then revealed Max said this just to get a girlfriend and have sex.

Max then shows off Drea’s nudes and new girlfriend to his friends, as a hunter would with a recently bagged deer. Drea compares Max to a hunter throughout the film, but she does not need to as it is shown through actions in many parts of the film.

In a relationship with Drea’s best friend, Max tells his girlfriend when she is talking about a serious concern that “he only here to have sex and she needs to stop talking”. Max also put together a feminist club just to get women and prove to the school that he did not leak the video. Max even stars in a school-made magazine talking about how much of a feminist he is.

This reminded me of encounters I have had with men at Winona State University, who have said that they would only take a women’s gender and sexuality studies course so that they can “pull women.”

Another theme in the film that I have not seen done this well is the idea of “fake wokeness.”

In the film, Drea befriends Eleanor and preaches feminist ideas and does her revenge for these ideas, but when Eleanor tells her about homophobia that she has been through, Drea doesn’t even remember that she did the horrible things that Eleanor mentions. Eleanor frames it that another girl was homophobic, so that she can take revenge on Drea.

Drea only thinks of herself in these feminist scenarios, but in actuality, she has done multiple times over what she hates. Even throughout the film, Drea ruins the lives of multiple women, but since it is in her gain, she still calls herself a feminist.

The irony of Max wearing the star of David throughout the film made me laugh out loud. That symbol is the perfect rendition of how he is shown in the school as the perfect golden boy that is not able to be tainted for most of the film even when hard evidence is shown otherwise.

Overall, this film is the first Netflix high school drama that I have enjoyed, and I enjoyed it both entertainment-wise and critically!