I have never once seen myself reflected in the media portrayal of teen girls. The teenage girls on screens were never like me. Their reactions to adversity never reminded me of myself. Whenever something bad happens to me, I experience a deep, intense anger, one that overtakes me wholly. But when something bad happens to the teenage girls on screens, they are only ever just sad. These girls are allowed to be depressed and melancholic and morose. But they are not allowed to be vitriolically angry.
That changed when I watched “Do Revenge.”
The movie follows scholarship-student Drea Tores, played by Camila Mendes (more popularly known as Veronica Lodge in “Riverdale”), whose sex tape is leaked by her boyfriend, Max Broussard (Austin Abrams, best known for his portrayal of Ethan Daley on “Euphoria”). She loses her place on top of the social pyramid at her elite private-school, Rosehill Academy, and becomes ostracized by her former friend group. She meets Eleanor Levetan, played by Maya Hawke (also Robin Buckley in “Stranger Things”), who had a malicious rumor spread about her after coming out to a peer. The two girls, in a moment of wrathful brilliance, choose to “do” each other’s “revenge.”
Both female leads were rage-filled, unhinged young women. And I loved them for that. Finally, I saw myself on screen.
Drea is high-achieving and incredibly intelligent, but her anger is so potent that it threatens her future. Eleanor’s anger is much more subdued and tame; it is festering, not quite boiling, but it still threatens her joy. These are both immensely different forms of anger, yet I relate to them both.
It is rare that a movie focuses on young, feminine rage. I’m so glad “Do Revenge” focuses on two angry, spiteful young women. And the movie never judges either girl for their anger. They are never punished for feeling. Their rage is wholly justified. Drea got sexually violated and Eleanor had become a sexual predator in the eyes of her peers. They have the right to be angry.
This does not mean that either character is forgiven for their misdeeds. Their anger does lead them to do irrational, irredeemable things, and they learn their lessons for those acts. They repent when they go too far. But still, ultimately, their anger is validated. They are allowed to exact their revenge. They are allowed to heal through anger. They are allowed to have a happy ending despite being two very angry young women.
This movie is campy and vibrant and a very, very good time. The costumes are adorable. The jokes are hilarious. The plot is brilliant. The soundtrack is incredible. You should absolutely go watch it. If not to have a lot of fun for an hour and 58 minutes, then to witness a true Hollywood rarity: two complex and valid and angry teenage girls.