Chevalier (2015)

Chevalier
Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari
Writer: Athina Rachel Tsangari, Efthymis Filippou
Cast: Giannis Drakopoulos, Kostas Filippoglou, Yiorgos Kendros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis, Nikos Orphanos, Makis Papadimitriou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Sakis Rouvas
Seen on: 17.5.2016

Plot:
Six guys are on a rather luxurious fishing trip together. But the things they can do on the yacht when they’re not fishing are limited. When one of them proposes that they could play a game, the others are interested. After adaption of the original rules, they come up with the following: they will rate each other to find out who the best of them is, giving points for anything and everything they can come up with. And whoever has the most points, will win a trophy ring – the Chevalier. Soon that little bit of competition turns into a lot – and tensions keep rising.

Chevalier has an interesting concept and much potential to examine masculinity, especially regarding competitiveness. Unfortunately it turns out to be so incredibly boring that any points are lost.

chevalier

I don’t know what happened with me and this film to be honest. On paper it seems like it was made for me. A film by a woman about masculinity, the obsession of being the best and expressing complex things in simple numbers to give the illusion of comparability (there’s a reason I don’t use ratings on this blog) and everything mixed with a little bit of absurd humor? Yes, please!

And it works as long as the situation is being set up. But once the game actually starts, the movie loses its momentum – and my enthusiasm for and interest in the topics being discussed dissipated. For a while, I could keep myself focused on the film by trying to remember who was who of the guys – because they all tended to blend into each other and I had to remind myself of their names and some trait to tell them apart. But that didn’t last long either.

chevalier1In the end the film never really gets anywhere. It touches on many things but never really spends any quality time with them. And for the most part, I didn’t even find it particularly funny.

Despite it being generally well-made with good cinematography and cast, I left the cinema feeling completely drained and tired for having had to sit through the film. If I was more of person who walks out of films, I might have done so. Instead I stayed, hoping for an end that would redeem the film a little or give us a little more insight than “men are obsessed with comparisons”. But it never came.

chevalier2Summarizing: What a wasted opportunity.

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4 thoughts on “Chevalier (2015)

  1. I actually found it ok to watch at Viennale, but I agree that it wasn’t a good film. I rushed to the cinema from work and most of the time, when I do that (which is why I try to avoid it) I have trouble getting into films and settling in the cinema, but in that case it didn’t really matter which was made it ok. I loved the concept behind but the way it was implementd was quite dull, I was constantly waiting for something to happen and it didn’t, which was weird. I do give the film credit though for enabling me to clear my mind from all the stress as I really really fell in love with Experimenter, which I saw right after, and I know, had I not watched Chevalier I’d have rushed (and regrettet that) into Experimenter. So at least it fulfilled a purpose.

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