Anton Chekhov's The Duel
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Anton Chekhov's The Duel
Save Shakespeare, Chekhov is the literary giant whose work is most frequently adapted for the screen. 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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"You want bite. But the movie's teeth are locked behind the dramatic equivalent of a retainer."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"Chekhov's stories and plays often vibrate in that zone where comedy and tragedy are indistinguishable. And so it is with this movie."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"...perhaps most impressively, Kosashvili gets the delicate falling ending of short fiction that is so hard to achieve on screen."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment Magazine
"A lush and loyal adaptation of Chekhov's novella, which nails the atmosphere and features brilliant performance all round."
‑ , FILMINK (Australia)
"Israeli filmmaker Dover Kosashvili approaches the Russian writer's novella with a mix of kid gloves and assured know-how, by way of screenwriter Mary Bing."
‑ Ed Gibbs, The Sunday Age
"Much of what is spelled out in the book is artfully condensed for the film, which was shot in Croatia and is pretty enough to double as a tourist lure."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"If you see this movie, it will give you more pleasure and more to think about than any of the more popular entries currently out there."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Irish actor Andrew Scott is excellent as the deceitful, snivelling scoundrel whose habit of taking advantage of the good graces of others hits its limit."
‑ Jim Schembri, 3AW
"It would be easy to say that the film was undone by its obviously minuscule budget, reflected in daft costume and art direction, but when the basics of good storytelling are missing, it's far easier to be nit-picky."
‑ Josh Forward, Trespass
"The Duel challenges the audience to watch it; but with unlikeable characters and a tedious pace you may just want to put your gun up to your own mouth and end the misery."
‑ Blake Howard, 2UE That Movie Show
"It somehow isn't as exciting as a duel over a woman should be. If you're not well rested before entering the theater, it could put you under."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The setting of the title event is spectacular, and the photography is wonderful. In places the movie seems as lazy as Laevsky. But Chekhov's story provides a lot to chew on."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards,
"It's a strange but compelling story in which indolence and dissolution are confronted in a life or death moment."
‑ Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies (Australia)
"Once you get used to this distraction [of the English cast in 19th century Russian setting] the handsome production takes on its own sensibilities"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Starts of slow but builds gradually into a captivating tale of escalating mania."
‑ Dominic Corry,
More reviews for Anton Chekhov's The Duel on Rotten Tomatoes