Why is it that we make a competition out of everything? I guess we all realize how ridiculous it all this but are so into it we never admit to it because in doing so you’re letting the competition win. Let’s say you win whatever you’re competing for, are you actually satisfied?, maybe for an hour or so and in matter of time you’re already looking for something that’ll prove your self-worth once again. How is it that we engage in such ludicrous activities? Well, Tsangari never really gives us an answer but definitely has a lot of fun in pointing out the absurdity of it all to turn us away from such foolish behavior.
Chevalier follows a group of comrades who have the brilliant idea to play a game in which they rank everything with the intent of choosing you is the best man among them. Maybe they did or didn’t realize this, but a the constant pronunciation of masculinity among each other is more likely to demolish their egos than actually giving them a sense of self-worth. If this film could be exemplified by one of its scenes, it would have to be that of Mourikis’s character desperately knocking on his sleeping friends’ cabin doors to demonstrate how he can maintain a beautiful erection. These men literally judge everything that can judged about them, from the way they behave at dinner to the manner in which they sleep. Once each character is done self-analyzing himself in-front of his mirror and finally ready to go outside and be judged on his every move they each put on a sort of armor and where Tsangari shines is in slowly chipping away at that at revealing the sad insecurity shared by the men who have been consumed by this silly desire to win.
Chevalier best works as a social experiment more than anything, even more than as a film. Tsangari revels in the use of the dark and dry humor that her collaborator Yorgos Lanthimos has been so brilliantly exploiting and while in retrospect I praise the genius of The Lobster, if you go back and read my original review you’ll see my emotions towards the film seemed displaced. As much as I reflect upon how great the film was, I will scarcely re-watch The Lobster in my lifetime once again and I believe the same is to be said about Chevalier. There is some brilliant societal commentary laid out all over this movie but there’s a sense of discomfort the entire time you’re watching it. It is that discomfort that neglects from praising Chevalier as a great film because as of now I still don’t know where I necessarily stand on it. As I said, its a great social experiment and I admire it as a piece of genuine art that results in all sorts of strange emotional responses, but I can’t see myself watching this film ever again.