Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Anton Chekov's The Duel

Director: Dover Kosashvili
Starring: Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Niall Buggy, Mislav Cavajda, Tobias Menzies

English-language adaptation of Chekhov's novella about love and lassitude set in 19th century Caucasus. Russian bureaucrat, Laevsky (Andrew Scott) has run off with Nadya ( Fiona Glascott), another man's wife, hoping to start a new life. Instead he spends all his time drinking and playing cards with the local low life. Now out of love with Nadya he fails to tell her she has become a widow for fear of her wanting him to marry her. Bored and neglected the flirtatious Nadya teases the local men including the desperate police captain Kirilin (Mislav Cavajda). When Laevsky discovers a sexual tryst in desperation he confides in his friend the doctor, Samoylenko (Niall Buggy), about the best way to extricate himself from a relationship with a woman he says he no longer loves. All of the above is being watched dispassionately by the zoologist Von Koren (Tobias Menzies), who is eventually compelled to challenge the dispicable Laevsky to the titular duel with unforeseen consequences. Strikingly shot but too wordy even for Chekov.

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