Anton Chekhov's The Duel Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on his eponymous 1891 novella, The Duel gives life to a classic Chekhovian tale: the young ne’er-do-well aristocrat vs. the arrogant man of science; the attraction of a manipulative, narcissistic mistress vs. the life of the mind and of principled action. Gambling, alcohol and flirtations consummated in an impossibly beautiful countryside hold obvious attractions for Laevsky. But he’s brought up short when financial ruin and his mistress’s sexual dalliances lead to a violent denouement. Dover Kosashvili, director of LATE MARRIAGE, assembles a brilliant ensemble cast of British actors who strike just the right balance between intrigue and that particularly Russian brand of ennui we associate with Chekhov — but which today might elicit a prescription for Celexa. (Film Forum) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. It takes something like a miracle to unlock the magic in his exquisite aggravations, the essence of the human comedy. This film is indeed something like a miracle.
  2. 90
    The Duel is the most successful literary adaptation I've seen since Pascal Ferran's 2006 "Lady Chatterley."
  3. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    It's a pleasure simply to linger in the characters' company, or at least to watch them from just far enough away to observe them without being judged in return.
  4. This is smart, inspired, no-fuss entertainment.
  5. 70
    Koshashvili effectively captures turn-of-the-century ennui, but, more impressively, some of the feel of literary prose by intercutting characters in different locales, pausing the narrative for thoughtful close-ups that evoke interiority. The excellent excellent acting conveys the principals' emotional ambiguities.
  6. 63
    It just feels like playacting.
  7. 50
    Somehow isn't as exciting as a duel over a woman should be.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 24, 2014
    A stunning literary adaptation. Chekov is a cinematic writer -- but this is the first film
    to fully realize this on screen. Smart acting,
    lovely camerawork and a masterful edit! Expand
  2. Oct 1, 2010
    God, was this boring. After a while I was no longer praying for a duel - I wanted an ASSASSINATION. A lot of them. See Young Victoria if you want the vintage look - and something truly beautiful as a story and a set. Collapse