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131 min.
Luca Guadagnino
Drama, Romance, Sport
Rating *
Votes *
8.6% (1:12)
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  1. Torgo's avatar


    Ignoring everything else, putting opinions aside for a minute, it has to be stated how outstanding the soundtrack is. - I don't necessarily mean "great" by that, but being truly different. Straight techno/house, almost constantly? (Not your regular excuse for an "electronic" score, which is almost always either the nth iteration of synthwave or just ambient stuff.) Techno. That's got to be a first for any big movie. Noteworthy.
    Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, again.
    1 month ago
  2. MrW's avatar


    Terrific stuff, definitely Guadagnino's best work in a while.

    Not sure how much a lot of it would hold up under scrutiny, especially some of the characterisation. But that doesn't really matter when the film is so vibrant, frothy and fun. It's just a funny, sweaty, sexy and cool take on a messy love triangle. It's playful and melodramatic, whipping up actual storms and pelting tennis balls right at the camera to emphasise the brute force of the emotional dynamics at play. It's not subtle, and it embraces that lack of subtlety in the very visual make-up of the film. The score is a particular delight - roaring techno at the film's dramatic crescendos, but also often during dialogue scenes. I could barely make out the dialogue in one or two scenes due to the pulsating beats at the top of the mix, but it didn't really matter when the tone and register was as vivid as it is here.

    Some great performances all round too. Between this and the superb La Chimera, Josh O'Connor is having a hell of a year. He's such a wonderfully scuzzy yet charismatic presence here: despicable yet engaging. Both he and Faist go from cringey teenage goofiness to more complex, messy adults. There's an argument that some of Tashi's characterisation is left understated and unsaid in what's otherwise a big, broad movie, but Zendaya is a star and totally sells the charisma she needs too.

    Above all, just great entertainment - not sure I've seen a scene this year electrify a cinema quite as much…


    There's a lot of directorial wit and style to admire here, but honestly it's just great fun to go along with the ride too.
    1 month 2 weeks ago
  3. Siskoid's avatar


    Wow, I feel like I could write a dozen film theory essays on Challengers! Luca Guadagnino's use of homoerotic imagery (this is essentially a study in where to place balls and bananas in the frame). The notion of playing relationships out as a sporting event. Transference in many forms, with the tennis players funnelling the sexual frustration of their partnership to a woman who appears to be the sport at its peak, and that same woman judging based on their sporting ability/philosophy alone, "playing" through them in coaching/manipulating capacity. The metronome set by the ball translating into a back and forth through time in the structure of the film... Guadagnino has an amazing talent for presenting complex relationships, and the cast is more than up for it (certainly Zenday'a personal best to date). The tennis stuff is fun to watch. Reznor's score uses the kind of driving electronic beats I love, though rarely admit to myself. There are a lot of laughs. A lot of subtext to keep engaged (one might call it SURtext given how it amusingly manifests). It doesn't resort to tired old sports tropes. Hugely entertaining. 1 month 1 week ago
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