Chevalier Directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari
Published Jun 02, 2016It's easy to give The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos all the credit for the big fat boom in Greek filmmaking, but he's just one piece of the puzzle. While she doesn't have quite as many projects under her belt as a director, Athina Rachel Tsangari is proving to be a worthy contemporary thanks to her solid output to date.
Following 2010's uniquely comedic Attenberg, which carefully studied the behaviour of young females, Tsangari has set her gaze on male machismo with Chevalier. In the process, she's released one of the year's most arresting comedies.
A simple sort of fairy tale about douchebag bravado, Chevalier doesn't need a complex story. The film follows six grown men at sea who, after one-upping each other on various tasks, decide to raise the stakes a little; through a set of vague rules and a ridiculous points system using pens and notepads, they decide to spend the rest of the trip deciding which man is the best, marking one another on everything from table etiquette to whether or not they drool when they sleep. Due to the wide parameters on which they're grading one another, the men resort to increasingly absurd measures, and the contest quickly becomes, well, anatomical.
While the jokes are best left onscreen, the resulting film is an uproarious comedy — the sort of vehicle that'd definitely attract Will Ferrell in his prime if it were done in America. But that's not to say it should be remade, either. Set against breathtaking ocean views and acted with a wicked dryness throughout, Chevalier is a comedic gem that has us hoping the Greek New Wave never dies down.
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