Ugly Rumors and Pastel Berets

by Abigail Levasseur '24 on October 9, 2022
A&E Staff

Arts & Entertainment

A Review of Netflix’s Do Revenge

On Sept. 16, Netflix released a new dark comedy titled Do Revenge. The movie’s cast features well-known actors from a variety of teenage rom-coms and dramedy series. The main character, Drea, is played by none other than Riverdale’s Camila Mendes, and her co-lead, a transfer student named Eleanor, is played by Stranger Things star Maya Hawke. Euphoria’s Austin Abrams plays the male lead, Max, and Outer Banks star Jonathan Daviss is his sidekick. Drea’s former clique is composed of 13 Reasons Why actress Alisha Boe, Alexa & Katie star Paris Berelc, and Nickelodeon actress Maia Reficco. The cast list tops off with Love, Victor’s Ava Capri, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between’s Talia Ryder, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who you may know as Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or as Daphne from the live action Scooby Doo movies. The cast is practically a melting pot of various actors and actresses, which of course, brings in viewers.

Do Revenge is not for the faint of heart, as it casts a dark shadow on the psychological warfare of high school life, where status, relationships, and reputation are everything. The film takes place in Miami at the prestigious Rosehill Country Day High School, where all students are decked in Easter-egg-colored uniforms and pastel berets, and like in all teenage rom-coms, have unrealistic Ivy League aspirations where “spots at Yale” just happen to open up like magic portals. 

Max (Austin Abrams), whose “pretty” face is also plastered on tabloids and social media platforms, is dating Drea. They are practically a celebrity couple, but arguably, Drea could do much better, even before we learn about Max’s toxicity. Drea’s life blows up when Max coerces her into filming a sexual video of herself and releases it to the entire Internet. Then, in comes transfer student Eleanor (Maya Hawke), who is haunted by a rumor that she forcefully kissed a girl at middle school sleepaway camp. The two outcasts team up and plot to “do revenge.” While Drea works on untangling Eleanor’s rumor by destroying the life of farmgirl Carissa (Ava Capri), Eleanor befriends Max and carries out some dirty deeds from behind the curtain. The story is full of twists and turns and unveils the manipulative tactics swirling in the ugly minds of high school teenagers.

Sophie Turner’s character Erica, a snobby rich girl at Drea’s tennis camp, stole the show in a one-minute scene where she throws a temper tantrum over a cocaine addiction accusation—a rumor planted by Drea. According to PopBuzz, the iconic scene may be an Oscar-winning performance. There is also speculation of whether Netflix could create a Do Revenge II that focuses on Erica getting revenge on Drea for trashing her future and landing her in a substance abuse facility.

It’s difficult to root for either Drea or Eleanor, as neither have the greatest track records or personalities. Essentially, there are no “good guys,” just one major antagonist in the character of Max. Also, the absence of adults is so abundant in the film that it’s abnormal whenever Sarah Michelle Geller’s character makes an appearance. The movie is chaotic, Hollywood woke, and has many plotlines. It’s worth a first watch, but maybe not a second one.

Hit Movie Warns What Happens If We Don’t Look Up

by John Downey '23 on March 3, 2022
A&E Co-Editor

Arts & Entertainment

Hit Movie Warns What Happens If We Don’t Look Up 

The Shocking, Star-Studded Dark Comedy Taking the Internet by Storm

Caitlin Ariel ’24 

On Christmas Day, as the suspense of gift-giving and stuffing one’s face with cookies winds down and exhaustion sinks in, it is a typical family tradition to end the day with a movie perfect for all ages. When clicking through those movie options this past Christmas—and in the months since—it was difficult for people to skip past the newly-released, star-studded film Don’t Look Up. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Ariana Grande, and other household names, it seems perfect for a movie night. However, despite the film being labeled as a comedy, the laughs it provokes in audiences in its early scenes are ultimately stifled by shocking turns of events that have led many to reevaluate their lifestyles. 

The dark comedy follows Kate Diabiasky (Lawrence), an astronomy graduate student at Michigan State University, and her anxious professor Dr. Randall Mindy (DiCaprio) as they make a seemingly revolutionary discovery: a comet orbiting the solar system. However, this excitement immediately gives way to fear and panic as these two fairly low-level astronomers discover that the comet is on a direct collision course with Earth and set to hit the planet in about six months. Kate and Randall, accompanied by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination head (Rob Morgan), begin to try to warn mankind of the approaching comet, but an unexpected obstacle arises: no one seems to care. They are quickly dismissed by the approval-rating-obsessed President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her subservient son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill). They then appear on The Daily Rip, a cheerful morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry), and watchers waste no time minimizing, mocking, and blatantly ignoring the astronomers’ findings, dismissing their warnings as the latest of many exaggerated doomsday proclamations. 

Despite these challenges posed by 24-hour media, a president anxiety-stricken by midterm elections, and her obnoxious high-ranking son, Kate and Randall’s true enemy arises in the form of a tech billionaire (Mark Rylance). A scarily avoidant man and presidential donor, he decides to make it his mission to allow for the comet to hit Earth, stating that the minerals in the life-ending rock would improve the job market and, most importantly, put money in his pocket. He claims he will use his revolutionary technology to shrink the comet while still in orbit, so life will remain, and the economy will boom. With America now torn between safety and money, lines are drawn in the sand, and Kate and Randall’s job grows more difficult.  

A science-fiction political satire that clearly mocks today’s climate crisis and dissects how our modern capitalist society and tech and media addiction could be humanity’s downfall, Don’t Look Up makes viewers take a step back and reflect on how they perceive their media as well as how humanity is failing to adequately respond to the climate crisis. From its star-filled cast, obvious references to modern life, and an Ariana Grande musical number, it is clear why the film has been watched for 152.29 million hours across the world thus far, smashed Netflix’s record most-viewed film in one week and been nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. 

For those who have yet to see Don’t Look Up, the film is now streaming on Netflix.