Lean, mean, and brutal. A fresh spin on revenge.
On its surface ‘Revenge‘ is a standard rape vengeance thriller. A young woman, raped and left for dead, rises up to exact bloody vengeance on the guilty.
Yet, French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat shrouds these most typical of trappings in unholy allegory. This is more than one woman’s struggle. Our anti-hero Jen (a steely Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) fights the tide of misogyny, objectification, and sexual violence that permeates the whole of this male-dominated world.
Reversing notions of who is the predator and who is the prey you just can’t look away from the “terminator” styled violence unleashed. An uncomfortable viewing experience both through its visceral depravity but also from the twisted reflection given to modern society’s “acceptable” mores.
Jen may have just cause for her anger. But, make no mistake, she revels in the cruelty she dispenses and the pain inflicted. Are we meant to cheer her on or shudder in revulsion? Perhaps, both.
Oh. You want some staging for the story? Well, there once was a rich dude with a girlfriend (and a wife) who took said girlfriend to some remote vacation hideaway. Then his hunting buddy friends show up a day early and ruin everything…
Forgot notions of grindhouse revenge flicks. ‘Revenge‘ is pure vengeance fantasy presented as social justice unhinged. You can forgive the less polished performances and groan worthy dialog as the last hour burns the screen. Tense, unnerving, and brutal.