Greetings from snowy Salt Lake City, Utah! There’s a couple movies I’m really excited to be talking about this year from the Sundance Film Festival. Kicking it all off with a French thriller that premiered in its Midnight section; “Revenge”.
“Revenge” is directed by French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat. This is the first film on my slate to be directed by a woman! Which leads me to a slightly off-topic point, but still relevant, 37% of the 122 featured films at this festival were directed by women. Thank you, Sundance, for giving them the recognition they deserve and helping to broaden the spectrum of directors in the world of cinema.
“Revenge” tells the story of a woman named Jen (Matilda Lutz) who joins her married lover Richard at his secluded home in the middle of the desert. Sounds… romantic, right? Anyways, Richard’s friends soon show up to go on their annual hunting trip. The men, finding Jen incredibly attractive, soon feel entitled to her despite her repeated rejections towards them. The men assault Jen and leave her for dead in the middle of the desert. But, have no fear, she rises from the ashes like a phoenix and goes on a ruthless manhunt to find these men (Richard included) and bring them the end they deserve.
This movie had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. It really explores the fact that it’s difficult for a woman to embrace her sexuality without a male feeling entitled to her because of it. Jen comes off as this pretty, dumb, blonde that wouldn’t know how to handle herself on her own. The men she meets underestimate her, thinking that she’s just a pretty face. It’s one of the most satisfying things on the planet watching her man a gun and blow them all to smithereens. There was a collective "YEAH, GET THEM" from the audience at multiple points in the movie. That point in mind, this movie is also INCREDIBLY gory. If you’ve seen Julia Ducournau’s French horror film “Raw”, it’s along the same lines as that. There’s no hiding the pain she went through and the pain that she inflicts on them.
Matilda Lutz was the absolute best part of this movie. She really held her own the entire time and made the audience cheer with every accomplishment she achieved. Now, on to the next film!