“Women always have to put up a fucking fight”Review by Lewis Goodall
Revenge is a dish best served cold. A phrase I still don’t really get, you’re enemy would take one bite and then slide the plate away and not eat the rest, and for what? A quick laugh, it’s a very mild prank at best, at least say ‘revenge is a dish best served cold and poisoned’, or ‘revenge is a dish served by a waiter who’s also an assassins who will put the plate in front of you and before you take your first bite they tie a garrote wire around your neck and strangle you so tightly that it cuts through your head and decapitates you’. You know? Just some variations to bring it into the 21st century. If you really want to get revenge on someone then you can learn the french way with ‘Revenge’.
Revenge is a French film written and directed by Coralie Fargeat. Taking place in the middle of a desert, 3 business associates meet up for an annual hunting trip. The boss of the operation, Richard (Kevin Janssens) arrives a day early at this remote condo in the middle of the desert with his mistress, Jen (Matilda Lutz), to fit in some quick naked wrestling (sex) before his associates arrive. Jen being the attractive american within the group of creepy business men attracts wrong attention from them and leads to to become abit upfront with their advances. Jen attempts to escape the madhouse to which Richard, Stan (Vincent Colombe) and Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchède) follow her tail in pursuit. What turns into a violent game of cat and mouse, the three men learn to not mess with an American.
Without sounding like a cis white male, I was honestly surprised to find out that this film was directed by a woman. Not in the way of ‘a woman directing a film? This cant be right’, but in the way that this film just reeks ‘a perverted man directed this’. Within the first ten minutes we’re greet with many arse shots of the lovely Jen. I’m not complaining, don’t get me wrong, I’m on the side with Richard who described it out of this world so by all means you go ahead Coralie. Although the cinema scene is dominated by male directors, its really fresh to see a film as awesome and gritty as this. This film is a gore lovers dream. I actually read a fact that there is so much fake blood in this film that they kept running out and after watching the film I can understand why.
Right from the get go we are greeted with some wonderful cinematography of the dry, sandy landscape. Settling into this luxury condo feels inviting and gets you involved with the characters immediately. This being a french film it had to include a sex scene from the get go. We swiftly learn that Richard is being unfaithful via a phone call to his wife and kids, instantly painting Richard as a typical, businessman douchebag and boy does he play the douchebag well. All four of the names previously mentioned are the only characters we meet apart from the pilot for the helicopter that got them there and one motorcyclist you see in the far background of one shot near the end. All four of them bring each of their own to the table, but its Jen who brings the most to this film cause she is one badass woman. She’s up there with being as badass as Lara Croft, but not as badass as Uma Thurman in kill bill but still badass.
During the beginning portion of this film, we stay within the condo with Jen and the three men. They are celebrating that night with drinking and music. Jen is trusted with a very highly potent drug that the helicopter driver gave to Richard, a drug so powerful that when high on it you can feel now pain. The night goes well and Jen pulls some raunchy moves which get everyone excited. The party scene here is visually really pleasing, not just for the moves but with some vibrant lighting and quick cuts make for a nice montage. That said for most of the movie, its cut and shot really nicely to convey the right emotions at the time, whether fear or anger it’s there.
I wont say anything here but I’ll have a spoiler section. A certain event happens which makes Jen want to leave. The men knowing full well what happened was illegal, make sure that that doesn’t happen. Eventually Jen manages to escape their grasp and thus starts the game of cat and mouse with guns. I will mention what happens in the spoiler section but as I mentioned before, this film is violent as hell. Being part of this new French extremism, it doesn’t hold back in making the viewer wince and cringe with the ways injuries are inflicted on these characters and the amount of blood that follows. There is one scene in particular where a character treads on glass that seriously got to me. Another fact is that this scene made people faint and vomit during the screening so it’s an overall opinion everyone has with this scene and I’ll tell you it was not nice.
With the story being fairly simplistic, there wasn’t much room for there to be any real emotion attachment to these characters, but this isn’t the sort of film where you go into it for the narrative, it’s to see some all out violence and it’s most definitely delivers. The directors definitely knew the gore is great and I feel like they thought that people would focus on the violence so much that people wouldn’t pick up on the amount of mistakes that this film had and let me tell you, there are a lot. It got fairly laughable with how many mistakes there were in this film. Whether it was a vehicle that can teleport or a bullet hole completely disappearing/moving to another part of the body, it was there and it happened a lot. I cringed a lot at the foot scene but I cringed even harder seeing the camera crew in the vehicles reflection multiple times in one scene.
This film will have people tense, wincing and also going ‘wait what??’. There are many things that make this film great but also many aspects that are just too distracting to brush over. So many times I found myself saying out loud ‘how?’. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who’s looking for their blood fix but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who has every trodden on anything.
7 Mary Poppins Necklaces out of 10
There has to be a spoilers sections because I need to talk about the biggest aspect of this film that got to me. So as mentioned before, there is a certain event that leads our protagonist to run away. This certain event is Stan raping her. It happens the morning after the party and her suggestive ‘hints’ from her dancing seductively got Stan in the frame of mind for taking what he wants.
As she runs from the house, the three men chase her as they don’t want anyone finding out and them doing time. They catch up to her on the edge of a cliff to which Richard pushed her off and she is impaled on a tree. Branch skewering her through the stomach like a kebab. Somehow she survived this plummet and manages to get down with half the branch still sticking out of her stomach. Obviously leaking a lot of blood and needing to get rid of the extra limb she’s acquired. She takes this potent drug and pulls the branch out and cauterise it with a beer can.
cauterising a hole in the body would not make you all better 8 hours later after waking up. There is no longer a hole or any pain for that matter apart from slight burn marks on her front and back. Not knowing whether the film is meant to be out of the realm of possibility, Jen being able to survived being impaled was just a tad far fetched.