Re­venge

The Week (US) - - Arts 25 -

Di­rected by Co­ralie Fargeat

Fem­i­nism and ex­ploita­tion cin­ema might seem an odd mix, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Not in Co­ralie Fargeat’s hands. With her “blunt, bloody, and stylish” fea­ture de­but—a rape-re­venge drama star­ring Ital­ian ac­tress Matilda Lutz—the French film­maker “at once ex­poses what’s wrong with her cho­sen genre and demon­strates her mas­tery of it.” Lutz plays Jen, a mil­lion­aire’s mis­tress who ar­rives for a week­end at her mar­ried lover’s desert villa suck­ing a lol­lipop. “Her ev­ery ac­tion is sex­u­al­ized by the male

gaze of the cam­era,” said Olivia Oven­den in Esquire.com, but that’s be­cause Fargeat is in­sist­ing that Jen’s flirti­ness can’t be an ex­cuse when one of her lover’s hunt­ing bud­dies rapes her and the men leave her for dead rather than risk ex­po­sure. Jen sur­vives, though, and ini­ti­ates a hunt for her abusers that’s “as cap­ti­vat­ing as Kill Bill.” The re­sult­ing gore is al­most nau­se­at­ing be­cause Fargeat won’t let the vi­o­lence be ab­stract, said David Sims in TheAt­lantic.com. “Re­venge has all the sub­tlety of a bazooka, but it’s an ar­rest­ing watch.”

Lutz: Lolita with a ri­fle

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