- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme
MoviesIt’s a tennis love triangle with as many double crosses as double faults

It’s a tennis love triangle with as many double crosses as double faults

Art is a superstar tired of the aggregation of marginal gains – endless green juices, physio, hotel rooms – required to win a Grand Slam. Tashi, his wife and coach, is still pouring some of her own frustrated ambitions into him. She’s signed him up for this tournament as a confidence builder. But does she know that the skint and struggling Patrick, her ex and Art’s now-estranged bestie, will be competing? 

If the answer wasn’t ‘hell yes’, Challengers wouldn’t be the same movie. Almost noirish in its lack of sentimentality, it’s a courtside love triangle with as many double crosses as double faults. The trio’s gentler natures have long since been beaten out of them by the grind of ‘making it’. Only a queer reading of the film, in which Patrick and Art’s early relationship is more than a bromance, would find something pure in this toxic ménage à trois.

If the story construction is intricate, the tennis is ferocious. Guadagnino and his Call Me By Your Name cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom find new ways to plunge you into the match, with a fast-moving camera, kinetic aerial shots, even the odd GoPro rally. You don’t need 3D to feel the urge to duck as balls wizz past.  

Zendaya is electrifying, both on court (she spent three months training with Brad Gilbert as prep) and off it, with O’Connor and West Side Story’s Faist both good as the one-time ‘fire and ice’ doubles partners who lust after her. Props, too, to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s pulsing score, a wild-eyed slab of electronica. It amps up the stakes perfectly in a film that will leave you almost as breathless as its players.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme

Latest article

More article

- Advertisement -Newspaper WordPress Theme