Hollywood has always had a fascination with the world of high finance, where money, power, and ambition collide. Fair Play, a Netflix film directed by Chloe Domont, ventures into this enticing territory, exploring the complexities of love and ambition within a corporate backdrop.
Starring Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich, the film offers a tantalizing premise but struggles to fully deliver on its promises. In this review, we’ll dive into the film’s themes, characters, and overall execution.
A Steamy Workplace Romance
Fair Play centers on Emily and Luke, colleagues who share a passionate secret romance within the confines of their corporate world. Their relationship is a forbidden affair, against HR policy, and this secrecy adds a thrilling dimension to their connection.
While at work, they maintain a facade of professionalism, but at home, they indulge in steamy encounters. However, when Emily’s career advances and she receives a promotion, the boundary between their personal and professional lives blurs, posing a threat to their upcoming marriage.
A Missed Opportunity
The film’s premise holds great promise, but unfortunately, much of Fair Play falls short of expectations. One of its primary drawbacks is the lack of convincing chemistry between Emily and Luke. While they are introduced as smitten lovers, their interactions throughout the film often make them appear as near-strangers, undermining the believability of their connection.
The characters of Emily and Luke suffer from shallow development, leaving the talented actors, Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich, somewhat lost in their roles. Instead of multi-dimensional characters, they often come across as mouthpieces for on-the-nose dialogue. This lack of depth in character portrayal hinders the audience’s ability to fully invest in their journey.
A Simplistic Take on Gender Dynamics
Fair Play attempts to explore gender dynamics and power imbalances within relationships and the workplace, with a focus on how women navigate ambition and ambition-related conflicts. However, the film’s character development and melodramatic dialogue often overshadow these themes. Luke’s character, in particular, is painted as a one-dimensional villain, reducing the dramatic tension.
The film’s denouement ventures into violence, aiming for shock value rather than a thoughtful resolution. This last-minute turn undermines the complexities introduced earlier in the narrative.
Fair Play is part of a growing trend in cinema, where gender politics are explored through a genre lens. While the film’s premise and potential for insight are evident, it struggles to fully engage with the challenging questions it raises.
The result is a film that feels like a missed opportunity, leaving viewers with frustratingly little to connect with or care about. Fair Play may be a steamy workplace romance on the surface, but it falls short of delivering a truly thought-provoking exploration of love and ambition in the corporate world.