Anton Chekhov’s The Duel


Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Tobias Menzies
Directed by Dover Koshashvili
Based on the
Rating: C

Two young people have fallen out of love. After living together for two years the excitement and novelty has worn off. When Laevsky (Scott) receives a letter saying that his mistress’, Nadia (Glascott), husband has died, he feels she will expect them to marry at once. So, he hides the letter until he can leave her. Nadia has been a busy lady in their new town, flirting with men and playing games. Von Koren (Menzies) can’t stand to be in Laevsky’s company, detesting the man for his laziness and gambling. It finally comes down to having a duel between the two, but neither want to participate.

“The Duel” was fairly good. For a majority of the movie there is no action and the plot is weak. It revolves around the relationship between Laevsky and Nadia. He obviously doesn’t like to be around her but in certain moments tries to overpower her. He spends his time planning an escape, where he can be free and leave Nadia alone and penniless. Von Koren seems to be the only person to have a problem with Laevsky, despite his abrupt mood-changing ways.

“The Duel” probably reads as a good novella but the adaptation doesn’t do it justice. I haven’t read it myself so I don’t know how true to the story the movie is. While the movie lacks in action, at least it’s not boring to look at. The characters have a chance to develop and you’re not sure whether to like or hate Laevsky or Nadia.

A plus side is that this movie isn’t long; about 90 minutes. So if you’re looking for something random to watch and don’t necessarily care if there’s lots of action going on, I would recommend this movie. It’s on instant watch on Netflix. Also, Andrew Scott does a great job at playing an insecure, moody character. He’s a pretty good actor, and if you like him then you’ll enjoy watching him in “The Duel”.




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