Thursday, December 29, 2016

Now on Netflix: Chevalier (2016)

Chevalier (2016) - Directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari; Written by Efthymis Filippou, Athina Rachel Tsangari; Starring Vangelis Mourkis, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Yiorgos Kendros, Panos Koronis, Makis Papadimitriou, Sakis Rouvas.

By Kenny Howell

There is something inherently stupid about Chevalier, the new Greek comedy from Athina Rachel Tsangari.

That inherently stupid thing is the men involved, and the idiotic games they play. So you have to accept the fact that the film is going to be stupid because of these numbnuts involved.

The story is about a group of men that go on a yachting trip together. Over dinner, they start having a conversation on who the best of them all might be, which gets inspired, and sparks a challenge. One of the men suggests that they will have a contest judged by each other to see who is the best of all, or best in general.

Instead of a contest that includes things that are easily measurable, they go for incredibly dumb things like how high their pants ride or the hair on their chest or how well they groom. They seem infantile, which is the point, but still.

I get that Tsangari's ripping apart the idea of masculinity and the absurd lengths for which men go to show others, real chest pounding type stuff. And she wants to ridicule it, but ridicule turns a bit into repetitiveness. Once the joke wears off, Chevalier keeps going, further digging these guys into a well of stupidity. It tests the viewer, and I am not sure it is really a test worth taking, no matter how unique and clever the message is.

Chevalier has a lot to live up to with the recent Greek works of Yorgos Lanthimos like The Lobster, Alps and Dogtooth. It probably isn't fair since these are just the works that Americans are getting to see,  even though it does share a writer with all those films in Efthymis Filippou. It is just lacking the bite and willing to go to the extreme that Lanthimos' films do. It can be a challenge in itself.

Chevalier is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment