Do Revenge Updates the Teen Makeover Trope

Pictures by Kim Simms/Netflix

No matter you assume this film is about — you’re in all probability incorrect.

By
Natalie Michie

Date September 22, 2022

The place would the teenager film style be with out the makeover montage? I imply, in terms of on-screen highschool hierarchies, it’s the oldest trick within the guide. We’re all accustomed to the system: a reluctant, retro new woman undergoes a whole transformation within the picture of the queen bee character. However in Netflix’s Do Revenge, this trope — and all its problematic associations — is explored in an entire new means.
Stuffed with loads of pettiness, campy costumes and suspenseful plot twists, Do Revenge turns the basic teen rom-com on its head. The story is about at a pretentious non-public faculty and follows the unlikely friendship between It Lady character Drea (Camila Mendes) and awkward new woman Eleanor (Maya Hawke). Like every wholesome relationship, their bond is constructed on the hunt for vengeance. Spoilers forward.

DO REVENGE

Pictures by Kim Simms/Netflix

Within the movie, Drea is looking for revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Eleanor, then again, desires to take down Carissa, a former classmate who outed her and unfold rumours that she was a predatory lesbian. To make this plan work, Drea suggests it’s time to present unassertive Eleanor a daring new look.
However the factor is, Eleanor’s not the happenstance newcomer she seems to be. Certain, once we meet her, she matches the mould of the mousy, unpopular child. Sporting an outsized wardrobe, darker colors and a hat that reads, “I hate it right here,” she stands out towards a sea of preppy pastels. She even fights the concept of getting a makeover (basic!), saying “it feels so problematic,” to which Drea responds, “It’s, but it surely’s enjoyable!”

Pictures by Kim Simms/Netflix

This change units the stage for the movie’s twist on the transformation trope, orchestrated by costume designer Alana Morshead. Not like the teenager film makeovers of yore, Eleanor doesn’t undertake a Kind-A preferred-girl picture. The place Drea’s wardrobe is ’90s-inspired, colour-coordinated and form-fitting, Eleanor’s new fashion is solely an elevated model of who she already is. Her lengthy brown hair is minimize and bleached. She trades in her muted color palette for heat hues and floral patterns. However via all of it, she holds onto her individuality — referencing ’60s style and staying true to her androgynous facet with pantsuits, Bermuda shorts and overalls.

DO REVENGE

Pictures by Kim Simms/Netflix

It’s a refreshing break from the carbon-copy makeover arc we’re used to. In Clueless, style skilled Cher (Alicia Silverstone) moulds Brittany Murphy’s Tai right into a brunette model of herself, with an added imply streak. And in Imply Women, Cady (Lindsay Lohan) goes from being an outsider to a mini-skirt-donning villain to slot in with the Plastics.
With a rising social standing and sense of superiority, time and time once more, the newly reworked character turns into a highschool tyrant. However Eleanor didn’t want a fancy dress change to channel her conniving facet. As a result of in Do Revenge, the makeover topic is definitely the mastermind.
Within the third act, we study that Eleanor was not looking for revenge on her classmate, Carissa. She was really concentrating on — await it — Drea. Seems, Drea was the one who unfold these rumours about Eleanor years in the past, and Eleanor purposely befriended her to take her down. Herein lies the deeper symbolism of the makeover in Do Revenge.

DO REVENGE

Pictures by Kim Simms/Netflix

Initially of the movie, pre-makeover Eleanor hints at her plans for Drea with a cryptic internal monologue. “She doesn’t realize it but, however we’re about to grow to be besties,” she quips.
After Eleanor’s true intentions are revealed in act three, her evil edge intensifies. She pledges to wreck Drea’s popularity. She threatens to plant medication on Drea’s mother. She even hits Drea along with her automobile, touchdown her within the hospital. To state the apparent, her daring new look didn’t create her aggressive facet, it merely suited it nicely. By getting a makeover, she grew to become much more herself.

DO REVENGE

Pictures Courtesy of Netflix

The conclusion of the movie additionally subverts the standard makeover trope, whereby there’s an expectation that the character’s fashion will evolve as soon as extra after studying an necessary lesson. Within the remaining scene of Imply Women, Cady reverts to a pared-down wardrobe of denims and a T-shirt. And in Clueless, Tai makes amends with Cher after adopting a impartial fashion that feels more true to her.
However on the finish of Do Revenge, Eleanor doesn’t tone down her new look — she maintains it. And regardless that she and Drea make up, they by no means appear to completely study their classes. As such, their respective extravagant aesthetics complement their ethical ambiguity, so why hassle to vary them? As a substitute, they select to revel of their most OTT selves — of their style selections and of their lives. As Eleanor so eloquently places it: “I’m a teenage woman. We’re psychopaths.”

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