Chevalier (2015)

BFI London Film Festival This film was presented at the London Film Festival, introduced by the director and two of her stars, who stayed afterwards for an amusing Q&A with the Festival’s director. The film subsequently won the Best Film prize in the official competition.

I’d read that this film was about a group of guys on a yacht, and indeed it is, but I hadn’t expected it to be quite so funny. Despite categorically not passing the Bechdel Test — what with having not a single female character on screen (except briefly in one Skype chat) — it’s also a film that I can’t imagine being made by a male director. In many respects, it’s a film that questions the limits of masculinity, and the opening image is of rubber-clad men emerging from the waves and having their suits peeled off (which becomes something of a metaphor for the rest of the film). Sitting around a table later in the evening, drunk and bit bored, one of them proposes a game whereby the judge one another on every aspect of their lives, and so they go to work, with many subsequent scenes ending with one of them raising an eyebrow and then pulling out their notebook. The challenges involve all kinds of things, mounting in absurdity until at length one of them is knocking on the others’ doors in the middle of the night to proudly announce the size of his erection, amongst other ridiculous scenes — my favourite being a lip-synch to Minnie Riperton. We never really find out a great deal about the characters’ lives outside this boat, but we can only hope the experience they share has changed them for the better. It’s certainly amusing enough to watch unfold.

Chevalier film posterCREDITS
Director Athina Rachel Tsangari Αθηνά Ραχήλ Τσαγγάρη; Writers Efthymis Filippou Ευθύμης Φιλίππου and Tsangari; Cinematographer Christos Karamanis Χρήστος Καραμάνης; Starring Yiorgos Kendros Γιώργος Κέντρος; Length 99 minutes.
Seen at Vue West End, London, Saturday 17 October 2015.