Review: Fair Play is a commendable directorial debut from Chloe Domont, a film that sizzles with tension and passion right from its Sundance origins early in 2023. With stellar performances, especially from Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich, the movie navigates the intricacies of love and power with finesse.
Chloe Domont’s debut film, Fair Play, emerges as a searing exploration of love, power, and unraveling identities in the cutthroat world of a Manhattan hedge fund. Starring the dynamic and volatile duo of Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich, the film navigates the treacherous waters of a relationship strained by societal norms, gender roles, and the relentless pressure of success.
The narrative centers on Emily (Phoebe Dynevor), who unexpectedly secures a promotion at the ruthless hedge fund firm where she and her fiancé Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) both work. This unforeseen shift in power dynamics becomes the fulcrum upon which their relationship teeters. Luke, who anticipated the promotion, finds himself spiraling into a maelstrom of insecurity, ego, and a desperate need to reassert control. The film becomes a psychological dance between the two, each step laden with tension and consequences.
Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich deliver performances that can only be described as dynamite. The chemistry between them crackles on screen, as they navigate the intricate and volatile emotional landscape of their characters. Dynevor’s Emily exudes strength and vulnerability in equal measure, grappling with societal expectations and her own desires. Ehrenreich, in the flashier role, is perfectly cast as the wounded soul, a lost puppy sulking in the shadows of his own perceived failures.
Fair Play is a nuanced portrayal of societal norms and gender roles, dissecting the expectations placed upon individuals within a relationship and the workplace. Chloe Domont‘s directorial finesse allows the characters to engage in delicate yet tough confrontations, exploring the complex interplay between love, ambition, and the struggle for identity. The narrative, boiling with tension around every corner, is paced impeccably, ensuring that the audience remains riveted to the unfolding drama.
However, the movie does ask you to suspend a certain level of disbelief, particularly in its portrayal of a deeply in-love couple working in the heart of a cutthroat Manhattan hedge fund. The workplace, characterized by ruthless competition and a dog-eat-dog mentality, seems an incongruous environment for two people deeply entwined in a romantic relationship. While the Fair Play demands a leap of faith in this regard, the strength of the central performances and the engrossing story compensate for this narrative leap.
Eddie Marsan, portraying the company’s CEO, injects the movie with an undeniable menace. His character embodies the quintessential corporate sleazeball, a figure both intimidating and repulsive. Marsan’s presence on screen adds another layer of tension to an already fraught narrative, serving as a formidable obstacle in the couple’s tumultuous life together.
Reviews for Movies like Fair Play
The erotic undertones of Fair Play are woven seamlessly into the fabric of the movie, enhancing the narrative rather than overshadowing it. The intimacy between Dynevor and Ehrenreich is charged with a raw authenticity, providing insight into the complexities of desire and power dynamics within a relationship. Domont handles these elements with a delicate touch, ensuring they serve the narrative rather than becoming gratuitous distractions.
The film resonated with me with echoes of recent works like Mimi Cave’s Fresh from 2022, offering a contemporary exploration of love in the midst of power struggles and societal expectations. The comparison to Fresh is apt, as both movies delve into the psychological complexities of relationships within high-stakes environments. However, Fair Play carves its own distinct path, crafting a narrative that is both intimate and socially relevant.
Fair Play is a commendable debut from Chloe Domont, a film that sizzles with tension and passion right from its Sundance origins early in 2023. With stellar performances, especially from Dynevor and Ehrenreich, the film navigates the intricacies of love and power with finesse. While it requires a certain suspension of disbelief regarding its workplace setting, the film’s engrossing narrative and timely exploration of societal expectations make it a compelling watch.
Watch Fair Play on Netflix
Film Cast and Credits
Phoebe Dynevor as Emily
Alden Ehrenreich as Luke
Eddie Marsan as Campbell
Rich Sommer as Paul
Sebastian de Souza as Rory
Director: Chloe Domont
Writer: Chloe Domont
Cinematography: Menno Mans
Editor: Franklin Peterson
Composer: Brian McOmber