This Friday, September 16, Netflix unveiled its latest film: If you avenge me. With Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke as headliners, this new production has something to attract many curious people. So much so that in just one weekend of broadcast, If you avenge me has risen to the top of the ranking of the most-watched films on Netflix. But does this enthusiasm mean that the feature film is worth really a deviation ? Isn’t it about yet another movie for teens that will end up in oblivion in a few weeks? We hastened to follow this duo of teenage girls in search of revenge and we had a good surprise.
Revenge is a dish best served cold…
As its title suggests, If you avenge me is a vendetta story. Drea Torres is the queen of the very chic and posh Rosehill High School… Until the day her boyfriend reveals his sex tape. Fallen and humiliated, this it girl asks only for revenge but to keep her scholarship and hope to enter Yale, she must keep a low profile. When she meets Eleanor, who also wants revenge on the one who killed her outed and told everyone she had wanted to force-kiss him a few years ago, the ill-matched duo will come up with some serious revenge.
If everything opposes them, the two young women find common ground on their desire to destroy their respective executioners. Eleanor will bring down Max, Drea’s ultra-popular ex-boyfriend, while the latter will attack the one who made her new friend look like a predator. Yes, hate brings people together.
Movie for teenagers obliges, If you avenge me ticks the boxes of a few clichés but the feature film knows very well what it is doing. More than an umpteenth teen movieit is a beautiful tribute to the classics of the genre that the 90s / 2000s gave us such as Lolita Despite Me or clueless. We thus find the school as a theater of all possibilities with the different cliques that reign there. All this, reviewed in 2022 sauce: Instagram witches, vegan sores in Birk, budding actors and, of course, the top of the royal basket. In short, it represents our current society well with the main antagonist who is none other than a cis man who wants to be woke. We are also entitled to the famous makeover of one of the protagonists to “fit into the standards”. Modernized classic, the secret of a good teen movie.
Drea and Eleanor’s friendship is surprising but it works well. It is in particular thanks to the chemistry between Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke which bursts the screen. Moreover, we appreciate the fact that If you avenge me goes against what we currently find where the two female protagonists show malevolent rivalry. Despite a slew of clichés (as calculated as they are), the film pulls off a few pirouettes that we clearly didn’t see coming. In the trailer, Maya Hawke’s character declares that teenage girls are real psychopaths. A point that the film demonstrates well and truly. Funny, fresh and cynical, that’s how to qualify If you avenge me.
In addition, the film addresses very topical issues such as the revenge porn or school bullying, and the effects they can have on their victims. Finally, we note an inclusive film without overdoing it in the sense that the characters are not defined by their sexuality or their skin color.
All the ingredients for a successful revenge
To mark the spirits, the director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (who had already entertained us with A good person in 2019) is surrounded by the best. More precisely, it brought together the biggest “stars” of the teenage series of the moment. What give the impression of watching a funny crossover.
We therefore find Camila Mendes who embodies Veronica Lodge in Riverdale and Maya Hawke, best known as Robin Buckley in Stranger Things headlining. Austin Abrams, who we recently saw in Euphoria, embodies the fake woke Max that we loved to hate and that made us want to slap him. Fans will also have recognized Alisha Boe (13 Reasons Why), Jonathan Davis (Outer Banks), Maia Reficco (Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin), Rish Shah (Ms.Marvel). Sophie Turner (Game Of Thrones) even makes a brief appearance (extremely funny, by the way), as does the excellent Sarah Michelle Gellar (buffy the vampire slayer) who is impeccable in her role as principal.
Visually, the aesthetics of If you avenge me is immaculate. It’s colorful, it’s “bubblegum”, it’s neat. In short, it’s pleasant for our eyes. As for the ears, they are not left out. This new film stamped Netflix is adorned with a phenomenal soundtrack for a teen movie. Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, ROSALÍA or even Phoebe Bridgers are on the program. We couldn’t have asked for better.
Verdict: a big yes for If you avenge me
If you avenge me is a good teen movie as we love them and as we no longer make them. Both funny and fresh, the film stands out and surprises us. Without saying too much, this feature film goes a little further than we imagined. It takes a turn that we did not suspect. There is even a good chance that this film will become a classic of the genre. In addition to an interesting plot, the casting, the soundtrack and the aesthetics come to sublimate this new production signed Netflix. If certain aspects of the scenario could have been deepened, we recover fairly quickly.
I don’t hide from you that I launched the film more out of curiosity than out of real interest. I was expecting a teen movie that doesn’t fly very high. Something you watch out of the corner of your eye on Sunday nights and forget about just as quickly. However, If you avenge me turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Without being the film of the year, let’s not exaggerate, the number 1 program on Netflix at the moment is really worth a detour. No wonder, then, that in a single weekend it rose to the top of the podium of the most watched films on the platform.