Directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari
Male competition is trenchantly satirized in the slow-burning “Chevalier”, a deadpan Greek comedy directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari. She got the precious help of the inventive screenwriter Efthymis Filippou, the one responsible for the eccentricity of the stories behind Giorgos Lanthimos’ films – “Dogtooth”, “Alps”, and the recent “The Lobster”.
Therefore, if you’ve seen the cited films, you know what kind of mood to expect from “Chevalier” whose zaniness and strangeness are not so appealing as the wittiness of “Attenberg”, the director’s previous.
Our eyes are turned to six buddies who embark on a peculiar fishing trip on a luxurious yacht, not to relax or spend some time together but rather to compete with each other, playing silly games that will determine who’s next to wear the prestigious Chevalier ring.
As the minutes pass, we are presented with multiple frictions among the men.
They make the odds about who’s going to win, and each one of them, with no exception, will boast the victories or cry the failures. As humans, they try to conceal their most inner fears by embracing pride, cynicism, and an obstinate competitiveness.
Succeeding in the goal of establishing the film as a provocative statement of masculinity, Ms. Tsangari did a competent job, commanding the male pawns with control and insight. However, her tones are invariable, since both the pace and the ridiculous posture were maintained without attaining a particular peak.
Most of the viewers will have to find some patience if they want to keep focused on this men’s war.
I dare to say that the idea was much bigger than the final product.