set iptv

extreme hd iptv

set iptv

Challengers Has a Lot in Common With a Fantastic J.K. Simmons Movie

Challengers Has a Lot in Common With a Fantastic J.K. Simmons Movie


  • Luca Guadagnino’s
    is a thoughtful exploration of young lust and passion, featuring stellar lead performances from Zendaya and others.
  • Tennis in
    isn’t about championships; it’s a metaphor for the characters’ intense drive and perfectionism, akin to
    ‘s exploration of perfectionism.
  • Challengers
    ‘ finale parallels
    in its intense, tragic conclusion, showcasing unsustainable relationships fueled by passion and competition.

Spoiler Alert: Spoilers follow for ChallengersEven this early in the year, it seems safe to assume that Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers has secured a slot as one of 2024’s very best. Centered around a love triangle, where two former best friends and tennis players compete for the affections of a fellow player, the film is the kind of premise on paper that could easily prove overblown and melodramatic. And yet Guadagnino’s direction and stellar lead performances from Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist ensure that Challengers is wildly entertaining, campy in all the right ways, and a surprisingly thoughtful exploration of young lust and passion.

There’s never been a tennis movie quite like this one since it holds an unusual disinterest in whether the characters defy the odds or make it to the championships. Instead, tennis functions as a sort of metaphor for the drive within the players, with the sport’s intense physicality offering a window into their need to give themselves to their art. As such, the film has less in common with the likes of Wimbledon than with 2014’s masterful Whiplash, as both movies explore the idea of perfectionism and the destructive ways it can manifest.

Zendaya in Challengers vs. J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the greatest films of the 2010s, and the key to its success is a terrifying supporting turn from J.K. Simmons (who won a well-deserved Oscar for his performance) as tyrannical jazz maestro Terrence Fletcher. Ever since the movie was released a decade ago, audiences have debated virtually nonstop about Fletcher’s seemingly extreme methods. Is he a perfectionist who genuinely wants to push his students to their best, or is he a bully using art to justify abuse?

The answer comes late into the runtime. A dinner conversation that Miles Teller’s Andrew Neiman has with his professor allows us an uncharacteristically gentle side to Fletcher, as he insists that he wants to find “the next Charlie Parker” and says that that person would never be discouraged by his methods. And yet, while he seems sincere in wanting to uncover and cultivate a legend, it feels more self-serving than anything, and it’s impossible to put aside his constant verbal abuse towards Andrew.


Challengers Star Josh O’Connor Would Love To Play A Dark Version Of Willy Wonka

Josh O’Connor says he would love to play a “darker version” of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka in a feature film.

These vicious and perfectionist tendencies also manifest Challengers, most prominently through Tashi Duncan’s (Zendaya) character arc. When the other leads first meet her, Tashi is a wildly promising tennis player driven to be the best at all costs. Her initial affection towards both Art Donaldson (Mike Faist) and Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor) manifests since she recognizes a similarly competitive drive within them, even though she’s unable to relate to either of them in any other way.

However, these relationships take a more explicitly toxic turn, reminiscent of Fletcher’s mentoring of Andrew when Tashi breaks her leg during a match, effectively putting an early end to her career. After this, she marries Art and becomes his tennis coach, trying to push him to his absolute limits on the court. Her reasons for pushing him so hard are ultimately just as self-serving as Fletcher’s; furthering her husband’s tennis career proves a way for her to relive her glory days vicariously through him.

Challengers and Whiplash Feature Tennis and Drumming as a Passion Play

The other significant way that Challengers overlaps with Whiplash is how they function as a sort of allegory about people expressing their passions to the point of obsession and self-destruction. In Whiplash, Andrew Neiman proves a perfect target for Fletcher’s abusive tendencies because he’s every bit as invested in becoming the next great jazz drummer as his teacher is in discovering the next great. As he asserts in a confrontation with his family, “I’d rather die drunk, broke at 34 and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90 and nobody remembered who I was.”

However, the clearest way this theme manifests in both films is in their endings. For Whiplash, in particular, no scene in that movie feels as intense or deliberate in its intent as its finale, which takes place during the band’s concert and sees Andrew assert his power over Fletcher by cueing the band into their final number on his own. The piece ends with Andrew performing an extended drum solo, finally earning Fletcher’s approval. And yet the initial feeling of exhilaration can’t help but feel tragic, as while Andrew has finally achieved greatness, it comes at the cost of giving in to his teacher’s abuse.

Challengers has a similarly kinetic finale, seeing Art and Patrick finally in a tennis rematch after several years. At this point in the story, Art’s passion for his marriage with Tashi has faded, and it’s clear that if he loses this match, she will leave him (further illustrated by a secret fling she has with Patrick). More importantly, it’s evident that Art’s love for the sport has evaporated after spending years being a means for Tashi to relive her glory days and knowing that her love for him won’t ever be genuine if he’s not one of the greats.


Challengers’ Director Dishes About Spider-Verse Reference & Peachy Nod to Call Me by Your Name

Luca Guadagnino sets the record straight on both the Spider-Verse mention and the perceived callback to Call Me by Your Name.

On the court, Art learns about Tashi’s fling, and his anger rejuvenates his drive. No longer needing to prove anything to his wife, Art regains his confidence with a newfound competitive drive against Patrick and wins the match after an intense tie-breaking round. The victory sees Art and Patrick embrace for the first time in years, and Tashi erupts into applause from the stands, her love for her husband seemingly rekindled. Yet it’s clear that despite this brief moment of triumph, the relationships of these characters are fueled by nothing except passion and competition, and thus will likely be unsustainable and destructive in the long term. As a result, it holds a similar feeling of a pyrrhic victory as Whiplash.

Challengers Is Already One of the Year’s Best

Of course, the most significant thing both films share in common is that they’re fantastic. As previously mentioned, Whiplash still holds up as one of the 2010s’ best; it justifiably put Damien Chazelle and his cast on the map, and it got a surprising amount of mileage from turning a movie about drumming into an almost unbearably suspenseful work of kineticism. Similarly, Challengers receives a great deal of mileage in using the setup of a tennis drama to explore the romantic passions and competitive drives within its characters. And much like Whiplash, it feels destined to be looked back upon as one of the year’s best. Whiplash is streaming now on Netflix, while Challengers is playing in theaters.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank You For The Order

Please check your email we sent the process how you can get your account

Select Your Plan