Movie Review - Chevalier
The men appear to be on some kind of vacation where they swim, jet-ski, wind-surf, sunbathe and go fishing. On the way back home but still on the open sea, they decide to play a game, a game called "The Best in General." There is a whole, dinner-table scene where the game is invented and somewhat explained, but it's not enough and even as we see the game played out through the film, there doesn't seem to be much of any defined rules. It's a game that's too nebulous or vague, which might be the point. The point might be that these middle-age, white, privileged men engage in these nebulous games for vanity or ego, which could be Tsangari's overall criticism of masculinity.
The six men are sitting at a dining table on the yacht one night talking. One of them is Christos, played by Sakis Rouvas. He's the one who comes up with "The Best in General" game. At the end of the game, the prize is a ring called a Chevalier ring. Yet, the game design is too loose and doesn't engage or include the audience in its execution. At first, it just seems like the game involves performing tasks, even chores, and seeing who can accomplish the tasks first. This is problematic because completing a task first doesn't mean "best." For example, we see the six men cleaning the yacht. Yes, someone might finish cleaning first but it doesn't mean his cleaning was the best.
There are scenes where five of the men will observe the sixth while he sleeps. What a person does or looks like while asleep is something one can't control, so it seems unfair that the sixth man should be judged for something he can't control. The five men just acknowledge superficial things.
There is even a scene where the men are showing each other their penises. It's implied that it's all to determine who has the biggest penis. Yet, if Tsangari is going to go there, then she should really go there. The way the men go about it is problematic. The men go into the bathroom alone and take a picture on their smart phones. In that case, the photo can be manipulated in any number of ways, so it wouldn't be totally accurate a representation. If you're doing a penis measure, then they should have actually measured in actual centimeters, fully erect.
What's left is the cursory glances of the relationships between the men. For example, Christos is dating the daughter of one of the other men who is a doctor. Two of the men are brothers. One brother is Dimitris, played by Makis Papadimitriou, who has a thing for pebbles. The rest seem to be friends of some sort or the other. Playing the game supposedly tests or strengthens those relationships. Those effects feel scattershot and the impact of which don't hit hard.
Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but contains graphic nudity and blood.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 45 mins.