Ben Manalowitz, a quintessential New Yorker who travels to a small town in Texas in search of a narrative, finds a lot more than that.
Synopsis for the Vengeance Plot
If we take into account Ben's big-city surroundings, he will have nothing special at all. People are spoiled for choices in every aspect of their lives, and that has inevitably resulted in a sense of disconnect — from each other and the world at large.
The film 'Vengeance' explores city life with a critical eye, but it does not despise it. In fact, Ben is at a party with his pal John (John Mayer), talking about how satisfied they are in their lives of instant gratification. John also dates too many women, and Ben is pretty much immersed in the hookup scene.
Ben appears to be an accomplished journalist who contributes to the New Yorker; he wants to be a podcaster, but his producer pal Eloise (Issa Rae) notices that his ideas, however impressive they may be, are limited in scope and scope.
After yet another hookup with a girl he barely knows, Ben receives a call from Abilene's inconsolable brother Ty (Boyd Holbrook), telling him that Abilene had died of a heroin overdose. However, Abilene believed otherwise and told her family so.
After Ty convinces Ben to come to Abilene (yes, the girl was named after the city she was born and grew up in) and attend the funeral, Ty discovers that his sister was murdered and wants Ben's help to get revenge on the person who killed his sister. Eloise initially thinks that he is talking about his own life and the connections and selfishness that are unmistakably part of it.
Ben tells Ty that he will be staying with the Shaw family for the next few weeks, as is the rest of the Shaw family, who consider Ben to be Abilene's boyfriend. They warm him with open arms, revealing a genuineness that is sorely absent from his own existence in the final scene.
What Happened to Abilene?The End of Vengeance?
'Vengeance' is a satire, but it's more self-reflecting than observational. This isn't a story where a pretentious semi-intellectual from the city gets the lesson of his life in a small town, though it appears to be so for a while. As a writer-director, Novak allows his character to be the focus of the satire.
Ben is overcome with a sense of shame following Abilene's songs, which he receives from a local music producer, the enigmatic Quentin Sellers (Ashton Kutcher), and becoming self-aware enough to recognize that what he is doing to them is nothing short of exploitation. He is also taught enough times that he can't imagine that Abilene would have died.
The truth then strikes Abilene like a locomotive. Ty's grandmother reveals that her late granddaughter used heroin to keep him in the city. But, there was also some exploitation on the Shaw family.
Ben Manalowitz discovers that he is not Abilene. She was actually talking to someone the family knew, but she figured she didn't want them to know that she was dating someone else.
Ben learns Quentin is involved in the drug trade. Abilene died in Quentin's tent, and her body was then moved to a location that is in the middle of four states. As a result, Abilene's death was chalked in as yet another instance of opioid overdose.
Why Does Ben Kill Quentin?
The final exchange between Ben and Quentin encapsulates the film's narrative. Quentin expresses how Ben has exploited the Shaw family while claiming to be a generous contributor. He is unafraid that Ben will expose him to the world eventually.
Quentin makes a fatal error in ignoring how much Ben has been influenced by his time with the Shaws. He believes that Ben will pursue his crimes through social media, never considering that Ben could shoot Ty and Ty's mother. It's a story of a family tragedy, and the story belongs to them only. However, he tells Ty and Ty's mother what he did to that guy.