Free Full Gay Movie: Challengers (Luca Guadagnino, 2024) USA

Last updated on May 24th, 2024 at 02:00 pm

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Directed by Luca Guadagnino
2 hrs 11 mins, USA, 2024

Fiction feature
English language, English subtitles

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Here’s my review on Letterboxd, lightly edited:

This is certainly a step up, or maybe laterally, for Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) from the laughably self-important Gen Z atrocity, Bones and All (if there ever were a movie intended to assure cutters that, yes, you’re doing the right thing, that was it) or the flaccid, ephemeral, and insufferably queer experimentation of We Are Who We Are. (If any of the critics who gave that series five stars can remember what happened in it, or explain persuasively what it all meant, I’ll Venmo you 50 bucks.)

At first, I thought little of the film’s rinky-dink hybridization of a 70s movie of the week and a sports-themed segment from the Playboy Channel, excessively wobbly dollies, fast pans, flat lighting, gay baiting, et al. However, after watching the film’s joyfully formalist, even mildly subversive final 10 minutes three times, not to mention its embracive climax, I have to admit there’s a lot more going on. 

I’m just not sure what that is. Exactly. But, as with all the Guadagnino movies I’ve seen, it has something to do with a simultaneous and self-conscious evocation and rejection of genre expectations and their accompanying stylistic tropes, syncretized into something dryly comic and [hopefully] emotional.

But Josh O’Connor plays an impish utilitarian rogue perfectly; Mike Faist turns his ambiguous smile off and on like an immortal, and it must be said, generic, 19nitten cover boy (Is he straight, or isn’t he? Who cares?); and Zendaya, the svelte, long-legged ringmaster of these enthralled, not-quite hetero, not-quite ambitious enough boys, presides over it all like a spoiled, volatile Cleopatra. 

If queer means this movie, I’m all in.

The 2024 movie “Challengers” is a tennis drama directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. The film follows the story of Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy turned coach, as she navigates her relationships with her husband Art and her former friend and rival, Patrick. The movie explores themes of ambition, drive, and the complexities of human relationships.


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