Revenge is a dish that’s best served cold but a very bloody one in the case of Coralie Fargeat’s feature directorial debut.
If blood isn’t your forte, it’s best-advised to stop reading now and stay away from Revenge because there’s a lot of blood. A lot of it. It’s enough to make one want to turn away from the screen at various times. But if it’s something that is right up your alley, please stick around.
Three men, Richard (Kevin Janssens), Stan (Vincent Colombe), and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchede) are gathering for their once-a-year trip to go hunt for animals in the desert. Richard decides to change up the status quo by bringing his lover, Jen (Matilda Lutz), with him. She is very attractive, beautiful, and sexy with a look of innocense. Surely, Richard could have known that his two friends would be lusting after her.
While Richard is out of the house, Stan decides to take it upon himself by forcing himself on Jen. With having a female screenwriter, this is where some bold choices start to get made. These types of films in which women are so hyper-sexualized are usually written by men so they’ll go in a different direction. Being a female, Fargeat offers a female perspective on the genre.Upset that Richard does nothing about Stan, Jen threatens to call his wife and tell her everything. Richard isn’t having any of this and soon, the trio have her backed right up to a cliff.
Backed up to a cliff, Richard has reached that breaking point and pushes her off and assumes she is dead. Anyone in the right mind would make that assumption when they she she had landed with a branch sticking through her gut. Somehow, Jen has managed to survive a fall, let a lone a branch, that would surely have killed her. As implausible as this may be, Jen manages to walk away and the fight for survival begins. It’s about to get bloody and deadly.
One can look at Jen as the Phoenix rising from the ashes. She’s no longer this innocent figure. She’s out for revenge and won’t stop until all three are dead. Fargeat has a way of writing this film in which Jen comes off as a strong woman. She isn’t quite on that heroic level since she’s out for blood. It’s awfully brutal to watch during the 108 minute running time–again, if you don’t like blood, don’t watch the film.
Led by a marvelous performance by Matilda Lutz, Revenge offers a fresh take on the genre.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Coralie Fargeat
CAST: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Louis Tribes
An official selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, Revenge held its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in the Midnight Madness program. Neon and Shudder will release Revenge in select theaters and VOD platforms on May 11, 2018.