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Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Online Edition of The Cardinal Times

The Cardinal Times

Who knew that tennis could be this electric? A “Challengers” review

Isabel Bruce
Reporter Isabel Bruce stands in bushes beside the “Challengers” poster, outside of Century 16 Theatres in Cedar Hills. Bruce was unprepared for what she would experience in the next 2 hours and 11 minutes of her life.

To start this review, I have already purchased a ticket to rewatch Challengers in theaters. As readers hold a physical copy of The Cardinal Times in their hands, I have presumably watched Challengers thrice.

Although marketed as a romance, I would categorize this movie as a thriller. With a run time of two hours and 11 minutes, I sat curled into a ball in the luxury seats of Century 16, holding my hands on my face from start to finish.

The newly released film, directed by Luca Guadagnino, centers around three incredibly attractive tennis players as they grow their careers and relationships. We first meet the blonde beauty Art Donaldson, played by the gorgeous Mike Faist, drenched in sweat facing off with his opponent on the court. The odd-dog-out of this film is best friend, doubles partner and bunkmate turned maniacal enemy and opponent, the devastating Patrick Zweig played by Josh O’Connor. 

The ringleader of this deadly trio is the keeper of all of our hearts, Zendaya. The star plays the stone-cold tennis star turned coach, Tashi Duncan. Tashi’s obvious true love in the movie is not Patrick nor Art, but rather the game of tennis.

Despite finding tennis to be truly mind-numbing in real life, I loved Challengers. This movie made me deeply invested in the game. Yes, maybe it was because the plot of the movie is beyond feral with plot twists and had other audience members in the theater screaming at Zendaya’s fictional character Tashi, “Stop!” “NO!” and “Don’t do it!”

Not to hold true to stereotypes surrounding 18-year-old girls, but there is quite literally nothing as entertaining to me as drama, and boy oh boy does this movie come through. The messy nature of Tashi Duncan and her saucy involvement with both boys throughout the film is jaw-droppingly spectacular. 

This review, which feels more like a super long text that I would send to my mom, wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the score (the soundtrack) of the movie. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross composed the original score for Challengers. Throughout the movie the techno driven score drove me to the edge of my seat and built an interesting rave-like high tension atmosphere. 

My final three takeaways from this film are: it was really cool to leave the theater after roleplaying as a tennis ball for five minutes, I wouldn’t be surprised if ESPN saw an uptick in viewers on their tennis programs, and that this summer we will see a rise in people eating churros with close friends while listening to techno music. 

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About the Contributor
Isabel Bruce
Isabel Bruce, Sports Editor
Isabel is a senior this year. She is excited to meet new staff, line dance her heart away, do some more photojournalism and hopefully get the full staff swing dancing! She loves interviewing people.
Contact by emailing [email protected] and put the reporter's name in the subject line.

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