Match Point (2005)

Woody Allen films, greatest boon of all

Match Point
Cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Woody Allen

In the opening of the movie, a voiceover ponders over the how luck plays crucial part in life than one hates to admit. How a tennis ball hits the net at pivotal moment in a match and how an inch will decide the victory or loss. This philosophy is going to come back later, we know in the Woody Allen’s Match Point, a story of lust and luck.

For the first time Woody Allen leaves his beloved Manhattan and sets this one in London where Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) moves from a small town as tennis instructor at a high class club. He has given up career in tennis because he admits he has the talent but not the focus. We believe him. He is sort of guy who will take the shortcut to success and avoid the hard word. He is befriended by an upper class lean bloke Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode) who acts entry point to a world of wealth and luxury. They bond over common love for opera where he meets Chloe (Emily Mortimer) Tom’s sister, who can’t take her eyes off Chris. He plays his cards well without coming off as desperate and is on his way up the ladder where easy money is.

Trouble enters in form of a sultry siren Nola (Scarlett Johansson), a struggling American actress and Tom’s fiancé. They meet at party in Hewetts’ country house over a game of TT. Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s searching, cold, calculating eyes are set on her the moment he sees Nola. They later meet after Nola blows off another audition and goes to a bar to vent the steam. At this moment, after a few drinks conversation gets more direct. These are two outsiders in the world they are about to commit. Nola says he is going to do good unless he screws the whole thing by making a pass at her. Their flirtatious talk back and forth are some of the best screen verbal foreplays in movies.

Chris: “So you are aware of your effect on men?”
Nola: “Men always wonder I would be something special”
Chris: “And are you?”
Nola: “Well, No one’s ever asked for their money back”

They are going to have an affair, on and off sort which leads to a tragedy which involves a murder. Thanks to the trailer it’s not like am giving away anything.

It’s debated Woody Allen made come back with this film which is partially true. This is Woody’s one of the best works, his personal favorite. This is polished assured work from the man in top form making his frame as lustful and glowing as the characters in them to deliver its cynical themes. They are blissfully free from his influences and reference talks and stays close to the ground without losing any Allen incisiveness in dialog. Movie a pleasure, an entertaining drama deals with the nature of lust, its consequences (pointed self-reference would be Allen’s own Crimes and Misdemeanors) and third entirely new angle luck, which gives this movie its final splendid kick. It is Allen’s imagination and cruelty of fate movie finally settles on. Although almost playing out like a well-structured play but in terms of cinema it is a well disguised darkest film noir you will ever come across.

* Bad **Average *** Good ****Very Good ***** Outstanding


2 responses to “Match Point (2005)

  1. nicely written………! it is one of my favorite movie,,,,,,,, loved the character of scarlet :)….. my favorite dialogue is how the hel did you get pregnant?? 😉

  2. The film is in the general tradition of his earlier success Crimes and Misdemeanors. A mistress is killed for preserving the domestic idyll. Difference here is about degree of remorse and intensity. The earlier one had its light moments. Here we are more in the tradition of ‘Talented Mr Ripley’, perhaps a better rendition of amoral quest of an upwardly mobile ambitious and talented young man. I enjoyed the movie very much.

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