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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


‘Challengers’ swings its way into being a future hit

Gretchen Haselhorst
“Challengers” is a masterfully made movie with a complex cast of characters and storyline.

On April 26, “Challengers” was served into theaters. The film is directed by Luca Guadagnino and stars Zendaya, Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor. It has grossed $15 million alone on opening weekend, the highest of any Guadagnino film, and currently sits at an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Challengers” follows Tashi Duncan, a driven tennis star who suffers a career ending injury that turns her to the path of coaching her husband, Art Donaldson. In order to snap him out of a losing streak, she signs him up for a challenger game where he ends up facing Patrick Zweig, his former best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend.

The general story is very fast paced, reflecting a game of tennis. It carefully balances the different relationships with tennis and how they intersect. There are many moments that make the viewer question why they’re siding with a certain character, but feel validated in their choice by the next scene. Everyone comes out with a different perspective on how these three people come together and this is in part to the compelling writing done by Jusin Kuritzkes.

The standout performance is given by none other than Zendaya. She executes this role like nothing she’s even done before, communicating Tashi’s values and motivations with even the smallest of actions such as how she holds herself in a scene. This role is sure to cement her status as one of the greats for generations.

Starring opposite her is Faist and O’Connor. They both bring two points of view to the story, making them fight for who the viewer decides to side with. These two also show that everything isn’t so black and white with this trio, something very crucial to this story.

Guadagnino is always at the top of his game and “Challengers” is a testament to that. His eye-catching visuals keep the viewer addicted to the screen. As the cherry on top, his innovative camera work gets watchers feeling like they’re in the movie, literally and figuratively.

In addition, the face paced score composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross has everyone’s heart pumping as if they were sitting right next to Tashi watching this game of tennis go down. Some of the highlights are “L’oeuf” and “Challengers: Match Point.”

Overall, “Challengers” is a wonderfully crafted film that takes viewers through the inner workings of three highly career driven people and how their passion for tennis affects their closest relationships. If one hasn’t already swung by the theater to see it, they should definitely add it to their list of things to do.

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