Over the weekend, Netflix released the new darkly twisted teen comedy, Do Revenge. The gist of the film is that two high school students—a dethroned Queen Bee named Drea (Camila Mendes) and an ostracized lesbian transfer by the name of Eleanor (Maya Hawke)—bond over two rather traumatizing scandals that have upended each of their lives.
Drea’s comes in the form of a nude video, presumably leaked by her then-boyfriend. The video ruins Drea’s social standing, yet somehow exalts her popular boyfriend as a feminist hero. Eleanor’s downfall is a longer burn: a years-long grudge held against a fellow student who outed her and portrayed her as a predatory lesbian. Eleanor hasn’t seen the woman in four years, until she discovers she’s transferring to the same school as her.
The film is bananagrams. There are no less than a dozen gasp-out-loud moments. At times you’re watching a comedy, then a full-blown satire, then a psychological thriller. There is a small character named Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, not played by Oscar-winner Olivia Colman. It’s all gas, no brakes. I’m not entirely sure what my opinion of the film is, nor am I sure I trust myself to develop one after one watch. Granted, I was also marginally stoned while watching this, so that might have clouded my judgment. I’m just trying to level with you here.
But if there’s one thing you can trust me on, it’s what happens at the thirteen-minute, thirty-eight-second mark. Enter: Sophie Turner.
Turner is known, first and foremost, for her incredible run as Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones. She is also known for marrying the second most attractive, but objectively most talented Jonas Brother. But in Do Revenge, Turner plays Erica, a pastel-laden, British high-school tennis player who becomes the initial lead suspect in the case of who leaked Drea’s nude video. Acting on a tip relayed to her from Eleanor, Drea plots revenge and manages to plant coke in Erica’s belongings, getting her kicked out of tennis camp and sent to rehab.
Erica’s spiral is when Turner comes to life. Opening with the line, “I don’t even do co-caine! Drea, you insufferable cunt, I know you did this. You fr–she framed me!” Erica becomes more and more deranged until officers pick her up and escort her away. Her friend, played by Eliza Bennett, echoes from behind, “You framed her!” While that all may read humorous enough on paper, the art really is in the execution. See below.
Sophie Turner said she had "the best time" playing Erica Norman in Do Revenge and you'll see why about 10 seconds into this clip.
Do Revenge premieres tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/g1WnLYFmj9
— Netflix (@netflix) September 15, 2022
It is almost as if Sophie Turner was put on this earth to scream the c-bomb at someone. And she does it with such a bug-eyed mania that you might even say, “Did this brassy haired ingenue snort some cocaine immediately before this scene? Inspired.” She is absolutely unhinged, showing the whites of the whites of her eyes (this is not a typo, but rather an appropriate description of how much of Turner’s eyes you can see) as she screams, “I don’t even know what it looks like!”
I went back, post-initial viewing and counted; Turner is only on screen for three minutes and five seconds, in total. She returns later in the film, still clad in the film’s pastel color palette, to deliver a final speech to Drea from a rehab facility for a drug that she initially had no addiction to. She reveals that Drea ruined her life. She has since lost her tennis scholarship to Stanford and, ironically enough, developed a cocaine addiction.
She places her hands around Drea’s face and, without a hint of hesitation or reserve, flatly says, “I wish you nothing but the worst, for the rest of your miserable, fucking existence… and… I love your ear balls.” She rolls one of the earrings around her finger, and I was legitimately unsure if she was going to rip one straight out of this woman’s lobe. (She does not. Turns out, she really was a fan) The entire exchange is maniacal, and in a film that is proudly off the rails, it’s as if Sophie Turner said, “Hold my red wine,” passed it off to a crew member, and launched into one of the most cracked performances I’ve seen in a while.
I’m not going to be one of those people who says, “Give Sophie Turner an Oscar!” We already know that the Oscar for Best Actress is meant for overly serious white women in biopics. But I do believe that Sophie Turner needs to lean into more comedy. She is camp. She is absurdism. She is delightfully loud and crass and possibly a bit touched. After watching Do Revenge, I am convinced that Turner could perform the “You can’t handle the truth!” speech from A Few Good Men, but not certain that Jack Nicholson could do the final speech Sansa gives to Ramsay Bolton.
May the comedic rise of Sophie Turner continue. And may I suggest imbibing in your favorite recreational activity and giving Do Revenge a try.
Just not cocaine. I don’t even know what it looks like.