- English subtitles
Six guys together on a luxury yacht. What do you get? That’s right: competition, trying to outshine each other, see who is the biggest. Especially when one of them suggests they play a game. A game of who is the Best at Everything.
The filmmakers themselves are having none of it, of course – that’s what happens when critics stick a label on something. But still: the Greek films that have flooded the world these past few years have something in common. They take a relatable situation, and push it to absurd extremes in unemotional scenes full of subtle acting. This exaggeration allows them to expose both hilariously and painfully how ridiculous human nature and our social conventions can be.
They call it the ‘Greek Weird Wave’, because of this unemotional absurdity. And it makes for a nice alliteration in Dutch: ‘de Griekse Gekke Golf’. Yorgos Lanthimos is the best known filmmaker: his breakthrough film Dogtooth was the first film in the wave, and his recent success with The Lobster turned it into an international tsunami.
Absurd exaggerations expose both hilariously and painfully how ridiculous human nature and our social conventions are.
After Lanthimos comes Tsangari. She produced Dogtooth, after learning the independent film craft in America from Richard Linklater. Next she made Attenberg, which added a decidedly female voice to the weird wave. And now there’s Chevalier, a testosterone-rich female film with only men on the screen.
Six men, to be precise, on a typically male trip. Luxury yacht on the Aegean Sea, bit of fishing, good food, showing off on the jet ski. Until the competition between them (with a signet ring, a chevalier, as the grand prize) starts to dominate everything. Then the game of who is the Best at Everything quickly becomes way too serious. Ridiculous, absurd male behaviour, therefore, and only exaggerated a tiny little bit.
Joost Broeren (translation by Marjan Westbroek)