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Image gallery for "Chevalier (2022)" - FilmaffinityReview

Chevalier (Biography, Drama) (2022)


Director: Stephen Williams

Writer: Stefani Robinson

Stars: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Sian Clifford, Lucy Boynton

Determined and driven, the mixed-race son of a plantation owner ascends to the pinnacle of success within France as a celebrated violinist and composer, pursuing his aim to be accepted as the latest director of the prestigious Paris Opera.

Being inspired by the true story of Joseph Bologne, more widely known as Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Stephen Williams attempts to shine a light on a once-shunned virtuoso struggling through a chauvinistic and intolerant society. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was produced by Element Pictures, and TSG Entertainment while being distributed by Searchlight Pictures.

Born in Guadeloupe, a French archipelago in the Caribbean. Joseph "Chevalier" Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) being the illegitimate son of Georges de Bologne (Jim High) conceived with an enslaved African woman on his plantation. From a young age, talented as a violinist, further honing his skills at a notable boarding school. Excelling in music, dance and fencing, enduring constant bigotry and harassment. As he grew older, becoming known as a prominent composer in the French courts with friendly ties to Marie Antionette, pursuing aspirations to become the latest director of the esteemed Paris Opera, at the same time being engaged in a precarious love triangle that could cost him dearly.

Through turbulent times, where societal prejudices reigned, Williams presents a cinematic version of Chevalier de Saint-Georges' life; being the first recorded classical composer of African descent, it provides a compendiary yet confrontative experience.

Chevalier' looks grand, falls flatDespite being a more-than-notable classical musician to those informed about music history, to most Chevalier de Saint-Georges would be an unfamiliar name. "Chevalier" provides his journey of royal proportion from briefly noting his childhood at the boarding school to his later successful years leading up to the French Revolution. This feature isn't a broad nor entirely accurate retelling; perspectives are clear and pointed. Nevertheless painting the composer's life in heavy strokes with romance, politics and plenty of drama, a vibrant, compelling feature with substantial trimmings left on the cutting room floor.

Chevalier (2022) - Photo Gallery - IMDbIt's a captivating and dashing endeavour. Chevalier's life is portrayed by a capable Harrison Jr. Humour, charm, and overall efforts carry remarkable weight, with themes of intolerance and unambiguous racism presented promptly. Adaptions in a significant biography are obvious, some to increase fluidity others more negligent in nature, nevertheless providing a well-paced if expeditious conventional feature. Such pacing almost reminiscent of a musical film. It's a shame not more time was spent on Chevalier's life's story as a whole including his youth even if it is a fittingly comprehensive film.

If looking for an incredibly detailed and historically accurate depiction of Chevalier de Saint-Georges lifetime, you'll likely be unimpressed by this fictionalised account. Yet, its to be expected that even biographical films exhibit creative freedom at times losing sight of what they meant to convey. Although this is the case, I'd consider it a success if such a film provides interest to look into the real Chevalier.


Accents of class, with known bravado in a cinematic depiction.