Masculine Absurdism

Following the success of Attenberg, director Athina Rachel Tsangari teams up with Efthymis Filippou (Dogtooth, The Lobster) to co-write her third feature film, Chevalier, a tongue-in-cheek take on alpha male supremacy aboard a luxury yacht in the middle of the Aegean Sea.

Pitted against one another, the all-star cast – all six of whom collectively picked up Best Actor at 2015’s Sarajevo’s Film Festival – compete to win the title of “the best”, and subsequently wear the victorious signet ring, the “Chevalier.” Throughout the course of their journey home from a fishing trip, the six men descend into alpha-absurdity, beginning to compare everything – from coffee choices and flatpack assembly abilities to physical endowment, and so on.

As each male’s scoring systems (small notepad in hand) adds to the pressure, various alliances and betrayals emerge behind composed grimaces. Whilst at times the comedy is lost, Tsangari’s deadpan humour and ridiculing of masculine rivalry is gloriously concluded with an exuberant rendition of Lovin’ You by Minnie Riperton.

Selina Oakes

1. Still from Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier. Courtesy of StudioCanal.