The Duel

The Duel

DVD - 2011
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Escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea coast. Laevsky is a dissipated romantic given to gambling and flirtation. He has run off to the sea with beautiful, emotionally empty Nadya, another man's wife. Laevsky has now grown tired of her, but two obstacles block his route to escape: he is broke, and he faces the absolute enmity of Von Koren.
Publisher: [United States] : Music Box Films, 2011.
Edition: DVD edition Widescreen.
Branch Call Number: 791.4372 DUEL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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n
Nursebob
Dec 30, 2014

Ivan Andreitch Laevsky, a petty government clerk assigned to a backwater village on the Black Sea, realizes that he no longer loves Nadia, the married woman he’s been living with for the past three years. With his former affections now turning to disdain he makes ready to abandon her but first he must borrow enough money for a one-way ticket out. Nadia, in the meantime, aware of Ivan’s glacial attitude towards her vainly tries to maintain an air of genteel sophistication despite their dwindling funds and her own string of scandalous indiscretions. The couple’s growing estrangement eventually attracts the attention of their high society acquaintances (a veritable cross-section of 19th century bourgeois Russia) leading to a final confrontation with a particularly outraged professor sickened by Ivan’s apparent lack of any redeeming virtues. Although the eponymous duel in this magnificent adaptation of Chekhov’s short story does not occur until the end, it is clear from the outset that each character is struggling with their own inner conflicts. The oft-times ambiguous natures of morality, truth and honour reverberate throughout while the director’s gentle touch keeps things afloat with flawless performances and a sly wit. Using his glorious seaside locales to their fullest potential, Koshashvili imparts great meaning to the most innocuous of scenes whether it be a casually tossed hat, a sliced melon lying abandoned on a plate, or a dripping womb-like cave. Even a ponderous discussion on the subject of “moral law” is rendered somewhat farcical by a child’s accusing stare. Sure to be one of this year’s better films.

u
useyourwords
May 14, 2014

I am in wonderment over this movie. Everything from Nadya & Laevsky's nuzzling to the ridiculously big guns in the duel is perfect. It's true that a duel is a combat between 2 people, but really the film is a study of dyadic interactions in general: Nadya & Laevsky ( the couple ), Laevsky & Von Koren ( the duelers ), Nadya & Olga ( mistress and servant ), Laevsky & Dr. Samoylenko ( the friends ), etc. A reviewer says, "this film is indeed something like a miracle," and I agree.

btmslt Mar 20, 2013

A slow moving, at times tedious, film concerning the different attitudes of men in Russia.

t
tj_is_cool
Jul 17, 2012

Horrible - slow and boring.

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btmslt Apr 03, 2013

btmslt thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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