OTT Review: Do Revenge

It is a kind of campy, high-school chick-flick version of Strangers on a Train with no murders but dollops of meanness and some quirky — and some blah — black humour



by

Sushmita Bose

Published: Thu 29 Sep 2022, 8:20 PM

Talking about Do Revenge, if I said it’s Mean Girls meets Gossip Girl, with a smattering of Cruel Intentions thrown in — and not just because Cruel Intentions’ Sarah Michelle Gellar has a fairly meaty role in Do Revenge — it would perhaps be met with a semi-bored “Oh, is that right?”

But the interesting spin is that Do Revenge is actually Mean Girls meets Gossip Girl with a whole lot of Strangers on a Train thrown in on the tracks.

If you’ve watched Hitchcock’s 1951 Strangers on a Train, you’ll know what the fuss is all about. Two men meet on a train, and get chatty. They both have a person in their lives they want to teach a lesson to — in this case, they both wish, vocally, these irritants would be better off dead. Then one of them — the psychotic one — tells the other what fun it would be if each of them bump off the other person’s bête noire… (And therein lies the crux of the movie: the psychotic one actually gets the non-psychotic one’s bête noire out of the way, and expects to be paid back in kind.)

In Do Revenge, the formula is more or less the same. Of course, a train doesn’t figure, and neither does murder. And most importantly, this is a black comedy, so the tenor is very different from Hitch’s gritty thriller.

But outsourcing revenge plays the pivotal role. Drea (Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica in Riverdale) is a high school prom queen, as popular as they come, till an incident of a video leaked by her cheating — and rich/well-connected (therefore untouchable) — boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams) upends her life. Overnight, she is vanquished from being the star of the high school to a damp squib who no one wants to hang around with.

She meets Eleanor (a brilliant Maya Hawke, who, in case you were unaware, is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke), who, like her, is nursing a grievance which is threatening to implode.

The two decide to carry out the downfalls of their respective perpetrators, and find closure before they can get their stride back.

Since this is a ‘comedy’, there are some funny lines, many of them pretty cheesy, some of them LOL-able. In between, you are bound to indulge in a few eye rolls at the high-school teenage excesses on display. A couple of times, I did think to myself “Don’t these people have anything better to do?”, but then I was back to being glued to the screen in a flash. It’s perhaps a good idea to take Do Revenge with a sackful of salt, especially if you’re a Hitchcock fan.

sushmita@khaleejtimes.com


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