Warning: this article contains spoilers for 'Do Revenge.'
There's a new mean girl movie in town, and it doesn't shy away from the extreme. Do Revenge is a fresh take on the mean girl trope, containing all the elements loved by avid watchers of the genre: betrayal, manipulation, drama, and, of course, a makeover sequence. Rosehill Country Day serves as the backdrop—a private school for the rich where scandal runs amok behind the imposing stone gates.
Drea Torres is queen of the school, and nothing can dethrone her. An ice princess to all except those in her close circle, she’s depicted as getting everything she wants—no matter what (or who) stands in her way. However, her power crumbles when her equally popular boyfriend releases a nude video of her to the entire school.
After a dramatic breakup, we see Drea become isolated from the former 'it crowd,' but find a new friend in an unlikely place. A girl named Eleanor from her summer tennis club offers to give Drea a ride home when she’s experiencing car trouble, and she learns learn that Eleanor is transferring to Rosehill. Eleanor is less than happy about this fact, as she’ll be finishing high school with the girl who outed her a few years ago, a story she tells in vivid detail. The two decide they want revenge, and that each of them is the perfect candidate to perform the revenge on their target: They’re from such vastly different social strata that no one would ever guess they know each other. It’s a perfect plan, in which everyone ends up happy—except those who experience their vengeance.
A defining feature of the movie is the style of the characters. It’s very prep–school, upper echelon, Gossip Girl–esque: The girls wear plaid pleated skirts, berets, frilly socks and church shoes, with a cute tie or sweater draped around their neck (but worn only as an accessory). While off campus, the girls rock statement earrings, brightly patterned tops, or pleated shorts and skirts. The boys wear button downs or brightly patterned shirts as well. This movie shows that revenge is a dish best served in style.
Everything seems to be unfolding perfectly in Drea and Eleanor’s plan, until a plot twist derails it all. In an unexpected reveal, we learn that it was actually Drea who outed Eleanor back at camp, and she is the true target of Eleanor’s revenge the entire time. After this realization, Drea seems defeated: hospitalized (after Eleanor hits her with her car, in a completely natural turn of events), dumped, and depressed. Yet, at the highly anticipated Admissions Party—which you can only be invited to with proof of an Ivy League acceptance letter—Drea proves her revenge superiority, and exposes Eleanor’s real identity to the 'it crowd': Nosy Nora Cutler, nothing more than the butt of a joke.
However, the ultimate message of Do Revenge is one not often found in this genre of movie: forgiveness. Do Revenge ends in the prioritization of female friendship, discarding all the other, more trivial things that have been the main inciting incidents of conflict throughout the movie. Popularity, social status, and even college acceptances all are moved to the back burner and replaced by the bond between Drea and Eleanor. Although they have committed numerous atrocities to each other by the end of the movie, the final scene is them driving off into the sunset together, blasting their favorite songs and ready to take on the final quarter of high school and summer before college.
The one issue with Do Revenge is the impression it might leave on its younger audience. As we live in a heteronormative society, where issues of sexuality and gender are still not as widely discussed as they should be, it would be a terrible consequence if a little Drea wannabe outs a fellow classmate, or a wannabe Eleanor thinks it's okay to inflict bodily harm if a person in your past has caused you immense pain. However, hopefully the audience of Do Revenge is mature enough to recognize that the events of the movie are greatly exaggerated in order to provide a comedic viewing experience.
Although the plot is completely outlandish, far–fetched, and nonsensical, it keeps one foot just rooted enough in reality to be marginally believable. Anyone who enjoys a stereotypical teen drama but is looking for a new twist on the genre can expect to enjoy the movie. As long as you don’t take the characters or their actions too seriously, it’s a watch that will leave you both laughing and on the edge of your seat.