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Chevalier

8/10

Stars: Yorgos Kendros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis, Makis Papadimitriou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Sakis Rouvas, Yiannis Drakopoulos, Nikos Orfanos, Kostas Philippoglou

Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari

It would seem that legions of PC-driven trolls took exception to the trailer for the recent oestrogen-driven Ghostbusters reboot which became notorious for being the most reviled preview in the history of U-Tube.

So how come this patently testosterone-powered black comedy about six wealthy male friends taking a fishing trip on a luxury yacht in the Aegean who, driven by boredom, embark on increasingly bizarre made-up games to win the coveted Chevalier ring, failed to suffer similar sex-and-misanthropy-style abuse on the net?

The answer is simple.

While the blend of wit, deeply black humour and unabashed sexuality (one vivid game involves the players comparing the lengths of their erections) the fact is that Chevalier is directed by a woman, Athina Rachel Tsangari, who also co-scripted the film with Efthimis Filippou.

Which, in terms of media-hogging sexism-bashing, means game set and match to cast and crew alike who all win hands down.

The contests, by the way, are not all deserving of an 18 certificate. One man has to assemble an Ikea flat pack (something, surely, thatís as near as impossible as anything faced by Hercules during his legendary labours), the player have to wash windows, compare sleeping positions and generally battle not to make complete arses of themselves.

Tsangari uses her largely yacht-bound settings with claustrophobic skill (aided and abetted by excellent cinematography from Christos Karamanis) and the unknown (to me) cast perfectly inhabit their increasingly reprehensible roles to create a one-off black comedy that would reward a second viewing.

A word of warning - lovers of octopuses should prepare to close their eyes briefly at the start when men (prior to their competition) take it upon themselves to beat the luckless cephalopod molluscs to death against the rocks.

(And, please, please, save us from, say, a Tom Hanks-led Hollywood remake!).

Alan Frank

Greece 2015. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour.
105 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 24 Jul 2016