Anton Chekhov's The Duel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Anton Chekhov's The Duel Reviews

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hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2012
An aristocrat who questions his relationship with a married woman incites the ire of a scientist in the Russian countryside.
Everything worth loving about Chekhov - the subtlety, the well-drawn characters, the crises of conscience - is here and filmed beautifully. I especially liked the performance by Andrew Scott as Vanya who performs a scene that is described in the script as "hysterics," but I think the best phrase is an "existential paroxysm." The Duel is a film built on subtext, and it takes a sharp, discerning eye to appreciate why the characters behave as they do, each action sharply motivated.
I thought that the subplot of Vanya's financial difficulties was never resolved, but I suspect that an apologia for this film would suggest that larger existential issues over-weighed money; it's true, but a commitment to solving all his problems would not have been hard to show.
Overall, Anton Chekhov is one of world literature's great writers, and The Duel displays all the great aspects of his work.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2012
A Russian tale that takes a fleeting look at the human condition, accomplished with smart production values, as a dissolute clerk and a fastidious budding scientist disagree about life itself and how it should be lived. Of course there is a confused woman between them. Not bad at all.
LWOODS04
Super Reviewer
December 18, 2010
Cast: Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Tobias Menzies, Niall Buggy, Nicholas Rowe, Michelle Fairley, Debbie Chazen, Graham Turner, Jeremy Swift

Director: Dover Koshashvili

Summary: Chekhov's psychological insights and piercing humor illuminate the screen in this beautifully filmed drama about Laevsky (Andrew Scott), a narcissistic civil servant whose impetuous decision to leave his married mistress, Nadya (Fiona Glascott), sparks shocking reverberations. Pragmatic scientist Von Koren (Tobias Menzies), outraged by Laevsky's thoughtlessness, challenges him to a duel, and the trio's emotional entanglements overwhelm them.

My Thoughts: "Laevsky is very self loathing and seems to be dealing, or I should say not dealing, with his personal demons and his many regrets. He has turned to gambling and alcohol to help him cope with Nadya, his mistress, a married woman. 'The Duel', is such a small part of the film that when it is brought to light is when you remember that is the title of the film. I think this is one of those films that is better on paper then on screen. It just didn't flow very well and some parts where never explained. I guess reading the book before watching the film would help better explain some of the scenes in the film. The movie was funny in some parts and wasn't completely a bore. I enjoyed the scenery in the film and great costumes. But the story just didn't do it for me."
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2012
As Laevsky(Andrew Scott, of "Sherlock") confides to his friend Samoylenko(Niall Buggy), he no longer loves his lover Nadia(Fiona Glascott), a spendthrift. What truly frightens Laevsky is that he has a letter in his possession that tells him that Nadia's husband is now dead, of which she is unaware. And once she is aware, it is a one way trip to the altar. For this and other reasons, Von Koren(Tobias Menzies) does not like Laevsky, feeling that in his day affairs were conducted entirely in private. Plus, Laevsky outdoes himself when it comes to sloth and indolence.

With its deliberate pace and excellent cinematography, "The Duel" is an evocative movie that bottles one point in time, allowing us to observe it at our leisure. But then time is never entirely static as the people along with the social mores of the era are evolving however slowly. Also this serves as a valuable reminder that lovers and spouses are two separate categories of people but that does not mean they cannot be loved in the same ways. And who knew a movie based on a work by Anton Chekhov could be so darn sexy?
February 24, 2014
This is a very good looking movie. The cinematography is beautiful. The colours and lighting are excellent.

The story is a simple one. The lead character, Lavesky (Andrew Scott), is wholly despicable and someone we don't want to spend time with. He is a ne'er-do-well. He spends his time lying about in the summer heat. He does this, when he is not occupied by drinking or playing cards. He apparently, is employed as a Russian civil servant. But, we rarely see him doing anything that looks like work.

He is living with another man's wife. He has grown tired of her. He spends his time scheming about how to get rid of her. His girlfriend is Nadya (Fiona Glascott). Lucky for the viewer, Ms Glascott is an unusually beautiful woman. He plays her understated role in a very effective manner.

The other principal character of note is Von Koren (Tobias Menzies). He observes the activities of the dissolute Lavesky with increasing anger. And here we find the source of the Duel of the title.

Although the characters were somewhat interesting; there just was not enough to the story to fully engage me. I would not recommend this movie.

But, it does look very good. That was not enough for me.
½ August 4, 2011
It's a beautiful movie to look at and it offers a thrilling final act. Some will undoubtedly be put off by the pacing and the lack of escalation or conflict for much of the film.
½ November 2, 2010
Walk into this movie a few minutes late, and you will wonder for the rest of the film what the purpose is. The scenery, fabulous clothes and makeup was so pleasant to watch, and listen to the waves lapping the shore, that I fell asleep for the first time in my life in a movie. The drunk man was cute but depressing, the women, cold and uninteresting. The duel happens in a handsome cave, and nobody gets hurt, so alls well that ends well. I can't see this movie lasting for more than a couple of weeks at the neighborhood theatre.
June 20, 2010
while the scenery is beautiful and the costumes and settings exquisitely of the period, there are too many characters and not enough empathy. Half way through the movie you still don't have any idea where the movie is going and worse yet you don't really care. Fionna has to stretch to make us believe she can be this good and this "bad".
November 3, 2014
The story is great and the acting is wonderful (except for Mislav). However, the movie fails to show you the great story of the book. If you are a bit tired, you will sleep.
February 24, 2014
This is a very good looking movie. The cinematography is beautiful. The colours and lighting are excellent.

The story is a simple one. The lead character, Lavesky (Andrew Scott), is wholly despicable and someone we don't want to spend time with. He is a ne'er-do-well. He spends his time lying about in the summer heat. He does this, when he is not occupied by drinking or playing cards. He apparently, is employed as a Russian civil servant. But, we rarely see him doing anything that looks like work.

He is living with another man's wife. He has grown tired of her. He spends his time scheming about how to get rid of her. His girlfriend is Nadya (Fiona Glascott). Lucky for the viewer, Ms Glascott is an unusually beautiful woman. He plays her understated role in a very effective manner.

The other principal character of note is Von Koren (Tobias Menzies). He observes the activities of the dissolute Lavesky with increasing anger. And here we find the source of the Duel of the title.

Although the characters were somewhat interesting; there just was not enough to the story to fully engage me. I would not recommend this movie.

But, it does look very good. That was not enough for me.
½ May 13, 2012
A delicate staging of standard Chekhov fare. The Duel is a visual delight set amidst a stunning landscape and generously captured by lush cinematography and sumptuous costuming. Chekhov's licentious characters handle their roles with subtle grace as they play out their oft unpalatable indulgences. However, it was some time before I adjusted to the strong English accents given it's a Russian tale.
December 11, 2012
GREAT MOVIE. EXTRAORDINARY COSTUMING AND CINEMATOGRAPHY. I LOVE IT.
August 8, 2012
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.
½ July 8, 2012
Gorgeous production. Fantastic acting from all. Very interesting to see and beautiful to watch. Filmed in Croatia - just beautiful.
June 18, 2012
A slow burning story with one climactic moment that changes everything. Worth a look if you like literary adaptations.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2012
An aristocrat who questions his relationship with a married woman incites the ire of a scientist in the Russian countryside.
Everything worth loving about Chekhov - the subtlety, the well-drawn characters, the crises of conscience - is here and filmed beautifully. I especially liked the performance by Andrew Scott as Vanya who performs a scene that is described in the script as "hysterics," but I think the best phrase is an "existential paroxysm." The Duel is a film built on subtext, and it takes a sharp, discerning eye to appreciate why the characters behave as they do, each action sharply motivated.
I thought that the subplot of Vanya's financial difficulties was never resolved, but I suspect that an apologia for this film would suggest that larger existential issues over-weighed money; it's true, but a commitment to solving all his problems would not have been hard to show.
Overall, Anton Chekhov is one of world literature's great writers, and The Duel displays all the great aspects of his work.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2012
A Russian tale that takes a fleeting look at the human condition, accomplished with smart production values, as a dissolute clerk and a fastidious budding scientist disagree about life itself and how it should be lived. Of course there is a confused woman between them. Not bad at all.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ May 27, 2012
As Laevsky(Andrew Scott, of "Sherlock") confides to his friend Samoylenko(Niall Buggy), he no longer loves his lover Nadia(Fiona Glascott), a spendthrift. What truly frightens Laevsky is that he has a letter in his possession that tells him that Nadia's husband is now dead, of which she is unaware. And once she is aware, it is a one way trip to the altar. For this and other reasons, Von Koren(Tobias Menzies) does not like Laevsky, feeling that in his day affairs were conducted entirely in private. Plus, Laevsky outdoes himself when it comes to sloth and indolence.

With its deliberate pace and excellent cinematography, "The Duel" is an evocative movie that bottles one point in time, allowing us to observe it at our leisure. But then time is never entirely static as the people along with the social mores of the era are evolving however slowly. Also this serves as a valuable reminder that lovers and spouses are two separate categories of people but that does not mean they cannot be loved in the same ways. And who knew a movie based on a work by Anton Chekhov could be so darn sexy?
March 17, 2012
Loved the costumes ,acting , and scenery .
February 11, 2012
Amazing performance by Andrew Scott. Solid movie.
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