Get a group of men together, add in some copious amounts of alcohol and than they simply cannot help themselves and resist the temptation to become competitive with each other. These six male acquaintances cruising the Aegean Sea in a luxury yacht are no different, and they decide to settle a round of boasting about their individual skills by agreeing to set up a competition to find out who amongst them is actually the best in general.
They agree that for the remainder of what was meant to be a relaxing fishing trip that each of them can decide on any physical challenge that they whole group must undertake and be marked on in every single aspect to decide on an ultimate winner. The tasks range from the bizarre like getting erections in order to seeing who has the biggest penis, to a race against the clock to see who can be the first to assemble a set of IKEA book shelves. With each round the intense rivalry builds up and starts to shatter any semblance of camaraderie that existed between this odd disparate group of men whose connections to each other is tenuous to say the least.
At one end of the scale there is the 60-something-year-old superior acting Doctor who attempts to laud it over the others especially his eager-to-please son-in-law who is hoping to take over the Doctor’s practice soon. They are both the complete opposite to Dimitris a rather inept unkempt younger ‘mummy’s boy’ who is not allowed to go into the ocean, and is only there in the first place because he was brought along by his older bullying brother Yannis who never passes up on any excuse to belittle him in front of the group, that is completed by two alpha type males Josef and Yorgos
Interestingly the movie is directed and co-written by a woman Athina Rachel Tsangari who excels in portraying these grown men’s base insecurities as they discard all traces of their dignities as they are each determined to end up as top dog by the time the trip is up. She even handedly ensures that we don’t get to favor one character over the rest by showing their good and bad sides equally and by simply letting all their testosterone boil over.
Her co-writer is Efthymis Filippou who is also responsible for the wonderfully weird and droll comedy The Lobster that has also just been released. That may explain why in the middle of all this intensely serious macho overload there is the unexplained sight of Dimitris breakdancing whilst he lip synchs to Minnie Riperton’s Lovin You whilst his brother is doing a firework display in the background!
Chevalier is actually the name for signet rings worn by French nobility and in this case is the ultimate prize that these man are trying to out-do each other in their one-up manship in this very ambiguous but totally fascinating drama.