CHEVALIER

— by Jeff Schultz

[Special dispatch from the 27th annual Tromsø International Film Festival]

This rather joyless Greek satire plays out on board a yacht, where six men who know each other in various ways (father/son-in-law, business partners, brothers) are on holiday and decide to enliven their time together by playing a game, the object of which is to decide which one of them is the best — at everything.
What follows pokes fun at male insecurities and middle-age crises and the urge toward Alpha dogdom that arises when guys get together. Since the game has no real rules, there isn’t anything these six do (or don’t do) that isn’t up for being scored; the winner is the one that gets the most votes (or the least demerits).
Penis size, morning erections, snoring, cholesterol levels, belching, karaoke skill, stamina — one slip in any category earns you a black mark. The game ends in a (comic) ritual bloodletting that puts paid to the absurdity, but instead of growing in intensity, the game merely seems to go on and on with too few moments of gleeful nastiness.

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