Netflix’s ‘Do Revenge’ follows the story of two girls, Drea and Eleanor, who come up with a great way to exact revenge on the people who ruined their lives. They make a pact to help each other in ruining the lives of their enemies. While Drea goes after the girl who made Eleanor’s life hell, Eleanor infiltrates Drea’s previous friend group to get dirt on her ex-boyfriend. In the beginning, things seem much simpler as the girls form a strong bond. Soon, however, things become much more complicated and both Drea and Eleanor start to reconsider their position as the good guys in this story. Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, ‘Do Revenge’ offers a fun ride full of many twists and turns that keep the audience on edge. If you are wondering whether any of the events in the film are rooted in reality or have been adapted from a book, then here’s what you should know.
Is Do Revenge Based on Real Events?
No, ‘Do Revenge’ is neither based on a true story nor on a novel. It is based on an original screenplay written by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who is known for directing another Netflix film, ‘Someone Great’. After doing a film about modern relationships, Robinson wanted her next film to be a reimagining of another genre. She thought about doing a high school movie but didn’t want it to be just another run-of-the-mill story. She discussed it at length with producer, Peter Cron, and they decided to “take the fun, thrillery stakes of a Hitchcock movie and put it in high school.”
The basic premise of ‘Do Revenge’ does bear similarities to ‘Strangers of a Train’, but there are a number of other films that influenced Robinson. There is a clear impression of 90s teen movies like ‘Clueless’, ‘Heathers’, ‘10 Things I Hate About You’, ‘Jawbreaker’, and a hint of the classic ‘Mean Girls’ in it. Most notable of all is the impact of ‘Cruel Intentions’. While writing the film, Robinson wanted to cast Sarah Michelle Geller in the role of the Headmaster. When Geller agreed to read the script, the writer-director rewrote the dialogues for her character to keep them in the same tone as Kathryn Merteuil, Geller’s character in ‘Cruel Intentions’, paying homage to the film as well as the actress.
While ‘Do Revenge’ works more as a revenge thriller, Robinson wanted to use it as an opportunity to discuss the issues of cancel culture, toxic masculinity, and the fractured idea of what is considered good and bad. “I think there are different points where everyone’s the villain and everyone’s the hero in this story. And that is so much of what growing up is. I wanted to make something that paints with all the colors of adolescence,” she said. “There is the comment on, not necessarily cancel culture, but accountability versus the way that we tear people down without the right information potentially, and the way that we lift people up without the right information potentially. And then on the other side of that, it’s also [about] the way in which we deal with trauma. So, focusing on what happens and how it happens and why it happens and then how we deal with it.”
The scales of good and bad keep moving throughout the film, which gives the audience a lot of food for thought. But despite all of its themes, Robinson says that this is “not some big political statement”. “We’re not trying to solve world peace. It’s just a really fun movie that looks cool and stars a bunch of really excellent actors who are at the top of their craft, and are also just gorgeous,” she said. At the end of the day, she wants, more than anything, for the audience to have fun while watching it.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Do Revenge Filmed?