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Who Am I? – Revenge

[PODCAST]

This weeks Who Am I? Guests were Director and writer Coralie Fargeat and actress Matilda Lutz on the promotional tour of the new film Revenge.

Natalie caught up with them to ask their thoughts on inclusion riders, working on a male dominated set and how much blood was actually used.

Read the review

In the starting moments Coralie Fargeat manages to manipulate the viewer into a false sense what I can only describe as ‘‘Male-gaze’. Sweeping shots of thighs, lips and bums. The opening ‘lolita’ entrance of Matilda Lutz is very clearly a mistress narrative.
I almost left. So nauseating was the sexualization of Jen, who had zero lines just giggles and blowjobs.
The film continues with the awkward early arrival of Richards friends, the camera explores Jen as if through the eyes of Stan and Dimitri – voyeuristic. After a night of partying and slut-dropping Stan comes to the puzzling conclusion that he is entitled to sex from Jen. The scene is subtle and drawn out and makes your skin crawl. The moment of Stan sitting on the bed asking ‘why don’t you like me’ is clearly informed by experience and the stylised shots make very uncomfortable viewing of the inevitability of her situation. The following scenes are commentary on the ‘bro’s before hoes’ scenario now so openly discussed in the wake of #timesup. Dimitri simply turning up the television to provide a chilling audioscape of engines and screams, Richards offer to relocate her and then the pursuit to a cliff edge. Then…..
I’m glad I stayed.
Without ruining the film, what follows is a powerful cat and mouse – with the chased becoming the chaser and vice versa throughout. Jen who in the beginning would have been judged as a bimbo finds strength far beyond what would be expected – my particular favourite part is when we see her earlobe with bright pink star earring lying on the ground next to her. The Phoenix metaphor of rising from the ashes is clear, particularly when Jen cuts out an impaled piece of wood then brands herself leaving a Phoenix on her spectacular abs. Matilda Lutz performs this change impeccably, it feels empowered and educated- even with the character being in underwear for half the film.
What I enjoyed even more about this film was the sheer volume of blood. The finale is quite literally a slip and slide but not just the finale. throughout the film Coralie doesn’t shy from the blood and gore. The extreme gore does leave certain moments where viewers need to suspend belief – some of the injuries would be fatal but honestly….I really didn’t care. The other thing about this film that it feels empowering – a woman taking control, using her wits and winning feels so relevant but certainly doesn’t disrupt the core of the film which is Revenge.
Coralie Fageat has managed to debut in a male dominated genre with a clever, high tension, gory, passionate and fiery feature which I would watch (through my fingers) again and again. But this is definitely not a ‘chick flick’ the subtleties of the gaze only heightens the genre and any man who wants action, blood and a feisty female in underwear will not be disappointed.
Basically – watch it.