Shades of Lolita as the blonde, young girlfriend of a married man sashays out of a helicopter with sunglasses and red lips, sucking on a lollipop.
Click here to read two other reviews from the 30th Alliance Francaise French Film Festival.
Revenge: ugly, shocking, bloody
Richard (Kevin Janssens) brings Jen (Matilda Lutz) to his luxury house in the desert before a hunting trip with his mates. But they arrive early and their lust for the young, lithe and sexy woman is palpable.
The sexy affair mood soon changes and things get ugly when the boyfriend leaves for a couple of hours.
One of the men tries to cajole Jen into sex, increasingly turning angrier as she refuses his advances. His sense of entitlement and menacing air is hard to watch. Events quickly move from ugly rape, to shocking attempted murder, to bloody revenge.
There is a formulaic element to these kinds of films, but thankfully some clichés are avoided. Jen doesn’t turn from Lolita into an Angelina Jolie fighting machine. The French journey is more nuanced than this.
Gory, beautiful and certainly interesting
After surviving a fall from a cliff and being impaled on a dead tree, Jen is vulnerable – crying, scared, injured, but also resourceful.
And definitely, defiantly, transformed.
And it’s not just the change from sexy, pink clothes to a skimpy, army green ensemble, nor the change in hair colour; somehow not blonde anymore. In her primal desire to live, and then wreak revenge, she finds the strength within.
One of the best lines is when Richard says, holding Jen’s throat to the wall, “women always have to put up a f*cking fight”. Well, when you have a boyfriend that doesn’t mind too much when a mate rapes you and then tries to kill you, then yeah, I guess people can be expected to fight back.
Despite the violence and bloody gore, director Coralie Fargeat, in her debut feature, has made a beautiful looking film.
She takes every advantage of the stunning desert light. It’s not a brilliant film, but it is an interesting one.
Did you know about the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival? Do you think ‘Revenge’ tempts you? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below!
1. Revenge film poster, by Rézo Films via Wikipedia
2. via affrenchfilmfestival.org