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Anton Chekhov's The Duel (2010)

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In ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL, escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea ... See full summary »

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In ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL, escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea coast. Laevsky is a dissipated romantic given to gambling and flirtation. He has run off to the sea with beautiful, emotionally empty, Nadya, another man's wife. Laevsky has now grown tired of her, but two obstacles block his route to escape: he is broke, and he faces the absolute enmity of Von Koren, an arrogant zoologist and former friend who can no longer tolerate Laevsky's irresponsibility. Soon Laevsky confronts Von Koren, accusing him of meddling in his affairs, but Von Koren maneuvers a criticism Laevsky makes of their mutual friend, Dr. Samoylenko, into a challenge to a duel. Utterly discombobulated and honor bound, Laevsky agrees to this absurdity -- a duel it shall be! A duel as comically inadvertent as it is inevitable. Written by Anonymous

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28 April 2010 (USA)  »

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Anton Chekhov's The Duel  »

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staged reality
20 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

In a Russian resort town on the Black Sea coast, Laevsky (Andrew Scott) arrives with another man's wife Nadya (Fiona Glascott). Her husband died and Laevsky is keeping it a secret. He grows unstable and desperate to leave for St. Petersburg by himself. Von Koren (Tobias Menzies) is a zoologist taken with the new theory of evolution. He looks down on Laevsky. Laevsky deteriorates and in a fit of rage, he challenges Von Koren. Von Koren surprises everyone by accepting the drunken challenge to a duel.

With the natural lights, long takes, and natural exteriors, this has the uncommon feel of a staged reality. Scott and Glascott are great. Scott is playing this character for all he's worth. The story meanders with wild characterization from Scott until a very tense duel in the end. It would help to set up Laevsky and Nadya's relationship more. The story has no driving force and it relies on the character study.


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