SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! Mia Misses Her Revenge is a Romanian film written and directed by Bogdan Theodor Olteanu. It follows a woman in her late teens/early twenties named Mia (Ioana Bugarin). We first meet her as she is kicking the sh*t out of a car but not doing any damage. We soon found out that her boyfriend, Teo broke up with her because she came home late, accusing her of sleeping with her play’s director, Victor (Carol Ionescu). When the off-screen fight happens, Teo slaps Mia, and she is understandably pissed off. She vows to take revenge.
What is Mia’s revenge plan? It is pretty simple: Mia wants to find a man to have sex with and record the act so that Teo can see it and freak out. Is this the most mature thing to do? Certainly not, but then the movie wouldn’t be entertaining. Mia Misses Her Revenge instead does something pretty interesting. It shows us that men, when put in situations similar to those that women are put in all the time, feel just as vulnerable. Most men don’t really want to be sex objects, just as most women don’t want to be viewed that way either. This objectification of men juxtaposed with a group of young actresses all talking about the first time that a casting director was creepy to them is a really fascinating feminist statement. I’m not sure if this is what Olteanu intended, but it’s what came across to me.
“…Mia wants to find a man to have sex with and record the act…”
The tale progresses with continuous failed attempts to enact this particular revenge and the way that Mia is handling being abused by her boyfriend. Many people keep telling her that it was “only a slap,” but she rightfully thinks that any kind of physical violence is unacceptable.
The film also examines if revenge is really necessary. Mia Misses Her Revenge poses these questions and many more while disguising itself as a movie about actresses who like to party. It can be hilarious while also very stark and real. There’s one particularly graphic scene that definitely makes this an adults-only affair.
The cinematography by Ana Draghici seamlessly mixes camcorder footage with the realities of Mia’s life. The film also has spectacular production and costume design. It also does something fascinating to me by subtly showing the Americanization of European culture. Instagram is everywhere, and everyone is speaking a mix of their native Romanian and English. It shows that the youth of the world are much more worldly than their predecessors. So, if you like movies with young people figuring out their lives, which is a timeless sub-genre, Mia Misses Her Revenge fits in that box perfectly, but it also encompasses so much more than that, which is why I think people will enjoy it.
Mia Misses Her Revenge screened at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival.
"…hilarious while also very stark and real."