That woman deserves her revenge…and we deserve to die”. ~ Budd, Kill Bill: Vol 2
In a world devoid of fairness, these words amply sum up the moral code of the rape and revenge film universe.
Ushered by the washed-up, has-been villain Budd (A.k.a Sidewinder) in part 2 of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill series, they highlight the righteousness of necessary evil in righting the wrongs against the main or supporting characters in the genre’s stories.
In Revenge, a 2017 French film written and directed by Coralie Fargeat, a young woman gets retribution against the men who left her for dead in a harsh desert no-man’s land.
Jen (Portrayed by Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz), our female protagonist, is introduced to us as a sort of everyman’s girl; with golden blonde hair, a bevy of vibrant clothing & accessories, and a perpetually glowed up look.
While we initially assume she’s the girlfriend of rich businessman Richard (Kevin Janssens), we soon learn she’s his mistress.
But it’s not until we’re confronted with the unnerving presence of his hunting buddies Stan and Dimitri (Vincent Colombe & Guillaume Bouchède) that we understand the peril of the risqué situation she’s in; Alone in the middle of nowhere and at the mercy of three men whom she is outmatched in terms of size.
This tense situation culminates in what otherwise would have been a tragedy; Something that by the very nature of its brutality should have killed her…But in fact made her stronger.
…And it’s exactly at this point where we see a very realistic transformation from the so-called weaker sex version of Jen, into a feral huntress who becomes the ultimate predator.
The beautifully-shot arid wilderness, — a vast nothingness which once begged a sense of isolation, now becomes her camouflage; and by the end she looks like a formidable character in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max franchise.
One thing I absolutely loved about this movie is its irresistible magnetic pull between making you feel sick and uncomfortable, angry and terrified for Jen’s safety, to feeling exhilarated and energized by all of her triumphs.