Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
When I read the synopsis for Chevalier I thought it sounded hilarious. Even in a foreign language – hilarious. My kind of movie. The concept of a group of men playing a game in which their talents (amongst other things) are measured sounded ideal.
Unfortunately, it turned out quite dull. Was this because it was in a different language and I had to constantly read the subtitles at the bottom of the screen to follow it? Or was it because of the lack of comedy overall? Something wasn’t right..
With Chevalier, you’re basically watching six men talk their way round a boat. There is very little physical action as at least 70% of the movie is egotistic conversation between the friends. And because of this I felt myself really studying the subtitles hard in case I missed anything that might make me laugh, and when a funny line was uttered.. I finally laughed out loud.
Yes, there are a handful of laugh-out-loud moments – not overly hilarious but they do make an impact. Other than this, Chevalier was very tame and quiet. I mean quiet in the literal sense; many scenes contain ‘silent moments’. For example, the men eating their dinner around a table – one or two of them offer a line before it goes quiet again. The scene then shifts to two of them outside on deck where one talks about how the ‘game’ is turning out, with the other responding in less than five words.. and the scene falls quiet again. This continues for a good while, and I remember feeling tedious in the cinema. That classic arse-numbingly boring tedious. This movie wasn’t what I expected. Chevalier was turning out to be something else…
– Makis Papadimitriou is definitely one of the better performers. His pudgy face displays great deadpan expressions, which are perfect for such a dry comedy. I found myself laughing more at him than any other actor.
– Chevalier could have been better. Foreign language aside, there was certainly something missing. The long moments of men standing chatting didn’t help at all, and added to the lack of scene construction. This movie could have erupted into sheer hilarity given the premise, but instead stayed at the same level. Men measuring their manhood, comparing wives, putting furniture together, serenading each other, trying to be the best at being a man in general.. brilliant. But it wasn’t. If this movie was American – or even British (the Brits often pull some gems out of the bag) – I have a feeling it would have been absolutely hilarious, worth of a second watch. It missed the mark here.
– There are a few witty moments between certain men which make for good viewing. One of the older men actually gets a bit weird during the ‘manhood measurement’ scene and had me in bemused laughter. Fortunately these few moments keep the movie going.
Chevalier was a total disappointment. Which is a shame as I was really looking forward to it. Perhaps the Greek sense of humour was lost on me as a British cinema goer, but it seemed more like a half-serious documentary about what happens to men when they retire.