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Revenge

Revenge is a clever action/thriller, but it doesn’t always abide by logic.

Writer/director Coralie Fargeat frames the story around the film’s three male characters who are on a hunting trip, but the filmmaker soon shifts the focus to Jen (Matilda Lutz), a scantily-clad partier who is brought along by Richard (Kevin Janssens), a playboy who is cheating on his wife.  At first, Jen seems to only exist to be the film’s obligatory eye candy.  But when her perspective becomes the main viewpoint, the audience can clearly see the masculine egos at large.  The cruel arrogance leads to Jen’s rape, followed by the intimidating shakedown that leaves her impaled at the bottom of a cliff and left for dead.  However, inexplicably, Jen is resurrected and soon starts calculating her vengeance.

Matilda Lutz is a strong heroine and she earns the audience’s sympathy and support, but Fargeat’s cherrypicking script doesn’t quite add up.  Jen maintains her fierceness, but she’s wounded – both emotionally and physically – and she loses an immeasurable amount of blood throughout the movie.  Because of the film’s excessive nature, I can understand how Jen’s determination could give her pure adrenaline to push through the pain, but Fargeat doesn’t concentrate enough on Jen’s characterization to keep matters realistic – just her motivation.

Revenge lives up to its title and features relentless scenes of in-your-face brutality, which are satisfyingly tense.  Furthermore, Fargeat flips the script by the end, making Jen in control and her dangerous beau the eye candy in distress.  Nods like these are handled with just the right amount of subtlety to carry observational opinions on different genders;  giving the audience a surprising amount of substance to go along with the film’s bold style.

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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