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Netflix’s “Do Revenge” Makes Revenge Diabolical with the Backdrop of High School Social Politics

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Revenge, rich kids, and high school social politics? A recipe that Netflix mastered well in “Do Revenge.”

Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes as Eleanor and Drea Torres
Drea Torres, played by Camila Mendes, and Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, have an intimate moment during which Torres talks about a tightrope feeling in her chest. The duo hash out their differences at the “Admissions Party” while learning an intricate plot. (Photo Courtesy: Netflix/IMDb)

Starring Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes, “Do Revenge” navigates the world of Rosehill Country High School through the lenses of Drea Torres and newcomer Eleanor.

The Netflix film beautifully traverses the world of rich, well-connected high school students and the accompanying social politics. As viewers watch the inner-workings of high school cliques, they see a revenge plot unravel. “Do Revenge” does amazing with the “socialite becomes social outcast and wants revenge on those who knocked them down” trope.

Drea Torres, played by Camila Mendes, starts the film as the it girl of Rosehill. Her clique features her three friends, Meghan Perez (played by Paris Berelc), Tara (played Alisha Boe) and Montana Ruiz (played by Maia Reficco) as well as her boyfriend Max (played by Austin Abrams) and his friend Elliot (played by Jonathan Daviss).

Drea Torres (Camila Mendes) surrounded by her “it girl” clique. Left to right: Montana Ruiz (played by Maia Reficco), Tara (played by Alisha Boe), Drea Torres (Camila Torres), Meghan Perez (played by Paris Berelc). (Photo Courtesy: Netlflix/IMDb).

The fall from grace happened quickly for Drea as an intimate video she sent to Max was leaked for public consumption. She faced punishment after punching Max in the face as he was the school’s golden boy. 

At this point, viewers see the once popular girl deal with being the social pariah of the setting she once ruled. During the summer, Drea works at a tennis camp where she meets Eleanor (played by Maya Hawke), a girl who’s transferring to Rosehill for senior year.

The two become close after Eleanor gives Drea a ride home. They connected over their shared experience of public humiliation: a horrible rumor was started about Eleanor, not only outing her as q1ueer, but displaying her in a predatory light. 

Viewers are privy to the duo’s relationship, which blossoms in the most organic way. For one, when senior year officially begins, they come up with their plan for revenge. In the style of “Mean Girls,” Eleanor will infiltrate the popular group and destroy Max from the inside, while Drea does the same for Carissa (played by Ava Capri), the girl who supposedly started the rumor about Eleanor.

Another beautiful moment of their friendship happens during the makeover scene, during which they discuss the details of the revenge and they give Eleanor a makeover.

“You are now, and forevermore, the coolest, most mysterious student at Rosehill Country Day. I’m Frankenstein, and your Frankenstein’s bad b–h,” Drea said once the makeover was complete, one of the many funny quips from the character.

The duo’s conflicting energies complemented each other well throughout the film. Drea’s fierieness and knack for punchy one liners was beautifully balanced with Eleanor’s cool and laid back persona. 

This was apparent not only during the makeover scene, but when they first came up with the revenge plot in the school’s bathroom. When asked if she wanted revenge against Carissa, Eleanor calmly said she wanted to “burn her to the ground.”

“That gave me chills. Do you see this? My arm hair’s up,” Drea said. “You’re giving off some serious, like, Glenn Close in ‘Fatal Attraction’ energy.”

“Glennergy,” Eleanor said in a calm and shy tone.

The duo’s dynamic is enticing and inviting, a dynamic that the audience will enjoy, which makes the plot twist the more surprising and heartbreaking.

Eleanor’s cool, calm and collected turns cold and calculated as it’s revealed that she played the long game. The scenery and color grading of the film takes a dark turn when the twist is revealed. 

Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, sits in a decorative tub surrounded by candles
Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, reveals her revenge plot, showcasing her calculated side. The theme of fire, in the form of a bonfire or candles, was present not in the scene pictured above, but during the revelation conversation between Eleanor and Drea. (Photo Courtesy: Netflix/IMDb)

The bright pastel colors turn dark when the former friends speak in Drea’s home after the actual revenge plot was revealed. In that moment, Eleanor’s cold nature is full frontal as she explains the last piece of her revenge puzzle.

Another moment of dark scenery occurs when the duo arrive at the senior class’ “Admissions Party,” a raunchy celebration of seniors getting admitted to college. During this party, the dark and gritty energy is palpable as everything comes to a head.

The revenge plot thickens as the former friends, now foes, continue toward Eleanor’s goal and Drea’s demise. 

Through the darkness of the admissions party, supported by the bonfire they stood next to, the friends-to-foes essentially managed to get through  the fire to become friends again. 

Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, and Drea Torres, played by Camila Mendes, stand in front of a bonfire during the “Admissions Party”
Drea Torres, played by Camila Mendes, and Eleanor, played by Maya Hawke, stand in front of a bonfire at the raunchy “Admissions Party,” during which they rekindle their friendship and learn about another plot. (Photo Courtesy: Netflix/IMDb)

Life brightens up and the pastels make their return as the world becomes right. The duo receives their happy ending, letting go of the trauma of their past. 

Netflix’s “Do Revenge” does revenge well by handling the world of high school social politics differently than before. Even though we’ve seen the various tropes associated with high school cliques and revenge done before, “Do Revenge” does it in a charming way, a way that stands out from what was done before.

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