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5 reasons to not miss out on Zendaya’s upcoming tennis drama Challengers

Challengers is an upcoming sports drama that features Zendaya. The film was initially slated for premiere at the Venice Film Festival 2023 but eventually got postponed due to the SAG-AFTRA strike. 

5 reasons to not miss out on Zendaya’s upcoming tennis drama Challengers
A still from the trailer of Challengers

Last Updated: 09.42 PM, Feb 23, 2024


Challengers marks Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria fame Luca Guadagnino’s latest 2024 venture, releasing on April 26, 2024. The film has dropped two trailers and has a solid screenplay thanks to novelist-playwright Justin Kuritzkes. Starring the talented likes of Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O’Conor in the leading roles, the film features a sports drama with a love triangle twist. Here are five reasons to not miss out on Zendaya’s upcoming big feature.

Challengers is a refreshing sports drama

The film is a refreshing sports drama as it is neither a biopic, nor a romantic drama with a tennis angle to it. Rather, Challengers has a seamless fusion of romance and sports with an authentic focus on politics and strategies both on and off court. It also shows the evolution of a star player into a powerful coach, without losing the ability to control when the racquet is swung, be it by herself or her student cum husband Art.


Challengers has a dramatic and angsty premise

The film’s drama and angst arise both from the romantic as well as sports aspect. Just like losing a skyrocketing career in moments is shattering for anybody, so is helplessly feeling the gradually widening chasm between oneself and their partner.

The film has both, Zendaya’s Tashi losing her career due to a bad knee injury, and later, her husband Art feeling her withdraw from him, not even saying ‘i love you’ back to him after lovemaking. And all this is without even considering Pat’s feelings for Tashi as well as his estrangement with bestie Art.

The film has a teasing love triangle

Challengers stars Mike Faist as Art and Josh O’Connor as Pat, two mediocre tennis players who were initially spellbound by Tashi’s feisty nature, passion for tennis, and incredible talent. The three had an affair together in their youth, fooling around, having fun, copulating and catching feelings in the process.

For Tashi, the game was always everything, but for Art, Tashi became the priority. And years later, when Tashi left her starry career to be a coach, Art did everything to please her, even entering a lowly Challengers event to break his losing streak. However, there he comes face to face with Pat and the game becomes the most important fight Art has ever fought.

Challengers shows a different side of Zendaya

The film shows a different side of Zendaya. She essays two age groups in the film and executes both flawlessly. One is a late teenager/early adult, a tennis prodigy full of arrogance, talent, rage, and hormones. Another is a star tennis coach in her thirties, no-nonsense, perfectionist, and full of confidence about her place in the world.

The ability to juggle innocence and experience, showing it so realistically and naturally, takes a lot of skill and practice. Also, Zendaya’s diligence is worth watching as she had trained three months under former professional tennis player Brad Gilbert before shooting Challengers.

Challengers has a satisfying premise that only high-stake competitive projects provide

The film has a satisfying premise that can only from the heady rush of adrenaline that comes when a film is rigged with taut competition and high stakes. Art is not fighting only to break his losing streak after seeing Pat at the Challengers competition. He is playing to save his marriage with Tashi as well as she might choose Pat as the better player and better lover after being so distant lately.

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