Challengers: Mixed (doubles) Opinions

Much like his (Luca Guadagnino) clumsy but brilliant Bones and All film, I both loved and rolled my eyes at Challengers. Of course, if you read my La Chimera blog, you know I’m a huge Josh O’Connor fan so the bias begins there.

What did I roll my eyes at in Challengers?…drawn out scenes where Zendaya is just a stone cold B*&$#, in fact, if your wife/girlfriend even acts a tenth of this apathetic, call 1-800-Get Some Self-Respect. Talk about a toxic relationship!
Also if you’re a toddler (tongue in cheek since my toddler readership is way down) and your mother farms you out to your Grandmother, call 1-800-I Need Maternal Love. So that level of flat did me in.

Watching the ultimate cuckold, Mike Faist also made me squirm, but I fully realize men will sacrifice themselves for a hot woman. If she’s mean with a capital M though, I still am mystified.

Having said all that though, two scenes seemed very realistic: one where Faist and Zendaya start rolling around, but then do not consummate…when a marriage has gone cold, there’s just no faking sex any longer. And two, the scene where Zendaya demands to get out of Josh’s car and heads the wrong way…very realistic as far as those passionate fighting days that I’m glad I’ve grown out of…

Josh O’Connor (and yes I claim my bias) is the heartbeat of the film (as seconded by The Big Picture podcast) and is the one whose energy we can’t take our eyes from. His swagger mixed with deep seeded insecurity is stunning to watch and so different from La Chimera. I was relieved to see him glow.

What I enjoyed most was the clever writing (Justin Kritzkes) and vollyeying of time periods: players as early college kids, mid twenties and pushing 30. I also commend the cinematographer, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who pulled out all the shots as far as how many ways can you film a tennis scene. But best of all was the writing and brilliant call back that I wont give away PLUS the amazing score by Trent Reznor.

A film definitely worth seeing for all the excitement in both audio and visual form, real long deep kissing and nice fit bodies.

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

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