Anton Chekhov's The Duel

Critics Consensus

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81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 37

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 321

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Movie Info

Laevsky runs away with his married mistress Nadya and suffers a mental breakdown.

Cast & Crew

Andrew Scott
Laevsky
Niall Buggy
Samoylenko
Nicholas Rowe
Sheshkovsky
Graham Turner
Atchmianov Senior
Simon Trinder
Postal Superintendent
Mary Bing
Screenwriter
Mary Bing
Producer
Angelo Milli
Original Music
Paul Sarossy
Cinematographer
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Critic Reviews for Anton Chekhov's The Duel

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Anton Chekhov's The Duel

  • Jun 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." <i>The Duel</i> 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 <i>The Duel</i> displays all the great aspects of his work.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 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.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • 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?
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 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."

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