The Queen's Gambit (2020)
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- 395 min.
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Judging from its viewing numbers, The Queen's Gambit is really good at making high-level chess at least emotionally understandable, and even though I once played chess regularly (until a nasty incident where a sore loser pile-drived me into the floor - true story), the strategies went well over my head. But it's essentially a sports movie in 7 episodes, and I don't know anything about sports either. Point is, once Anya Taylor-Joy's character starts going to tournaments, it gets quite addictive, and I especially like the subtlety of the psych-outs - what you could call the metaphorical chess game between the players - and how they never hang a sign on them. Your suspicion is the character's. Less subtle is the whole back story and how it becomes part of her cycle of addiction, and cared very little for this melodramatic element. Just stuff I've seen a hundred times in rock star narratives. If you know how a sports movie works, you can basically predict which matches will be won or lost - at least, before the final one - but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment. It's really about passion, discipline and obsession, has a nice sense of place and time (including a strong women's lib vibe that suits the '60s), and is very well played and shot thanks. Almost makes me want to get the ol' board out.
Great looking, well acted drama series.
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