FAIR PLAY on Netflix is a new thriller that has so much intensity I felt like I was on the edge of my seat non-stop. Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich deliver powerful portrayals in their lead roles. This won’t be for everyone, but it is brilliant. Read our full Fair Play movie review here!
FAIR PLAY is a new Netflix thriller that features a very simple plot that many people will undoubtedly be able to relate to. Those who do relate to it will surely enjoy this movie more, while others might find it utterly irrelevant. As someone who can relate to it (in a roundabout way), I can tell you it is very spot-on in so many ways.
Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich were both absolutely brilliant in this and it is not an easy story to tell. This shows one of the uglier sides of people. It also shows how far off track you can go, if your behavior goes unchecked. Again, this Netflix movie won’t be for everyone, but if it is for you, then you can expect a potent experience.
Continue reading our Fair Play movie review below. Find it on Netflix from October 6, 2023.
Power dynamics in a couple
In Fair Play, we meet a couple who have to hide their relationship as “fraternizing” between co-workers isn’t allowed at their place of work. They have the same job, so there’s no conflict of interest in terms of one having more power than the other. However, all of that is about to change.
A coveted promotion is suddenly a very real possibility at the cutthroat financial firm, where the couple work. Emily (Phoebe Dynevor) overhears a rumor that her fiancé, Luke (Alden Ehrenreich) is a candidate for the promotion. When the job goes to Emily instead, and Luke becomes her analyst – essentially an assistant of sorts – it doesn’t take long for things to change.
Emily knows immediately that Luke won’t take the news well, despite her being very happy and supportive when she thought he was getting the job. Surprisingly, Luke does take the news well. But that particular “honeymoon”-phase is eerily short.
Quickly, their supportive relationship of building and lifting one another up changes into something else. Something downright sinister. The power dynamics in their relationship have shifted, and ambitions are souring their otherwise loving and strong relationship.
Not everyone can relate
As mentioned earlier, I have no doubt that not everyone will be able to relate to the story in Fair Play. However, I suspect many (probably most) women and minorities will find it all too familiar. Not everyone, of course, but many. Sort of like with #MeToo. Once you start talking about it, many have experienced it in some way.
If you get a promotion, it’s either because of a diversity quota (this hits both women and minorities) or because you somehow used your body (for women, usually). You just cannot win by being good or the best. You have to be much better and even then, someone will doubt you. In Fair Play, we hear how Emily is clearly the most talented and brilliant of the two. Still, it’s not enough.
Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich deliver some tough and intense performances in Fair Play, which is often extremely uncomfortable to watch. The intense pacing and character development had me on the very edge of my seat. I mean, I have watched the most brutal horror movies where my pulse was much calmer than during this thriller.
In fact, I checked my Fitbit, and my pulse was elevated throughout watching this. The same was the case for my Heaven of Horror co-conspirator. Unlike watching the latest “Hercule Poirot”-movie, where that very same device clocked her as taking a nap despite being fully awake. Just extremely relaxed and unbothered. For Fair Play, it was the exact opposite. She was on edge and had heart palpitations.
Watch FAIR PLAY on Netflix!
This is a feature film debut for writer-director Chloe Domont, which immediately makes me expect extremely great things in the future. The genre definition of “relationship thriller” makes it sound like a romance drama of sorts, but this is so much more. Not easy to explain without giving away too much, but so very easy to feel as you watch it.
Alongside Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich, Fair Play also stars the ever-amazing Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, and Sebastian De Souza. Many other characters are part of this story, especially towards the end which is a virtual trainwreck. Good lord, Emily was living an actual nightmare with people coming at her from all sides.
Recommendation if you enjoyed FAIR PLAY
This is easily one of the most uncomfortable movies I’ve watched in a long time. Again, if you can relate, you’ll know the power dynamics at work and be able to predict reactions way ahead of time. It’s straight-up mental and psychological abuse of a kind that far too many will recognize. Whether from parents, a lover, or even a boss in a workplace.
It’s absolutely awful emotions that are awakened, which is why this movie is so amazing. It’s real!
FAIR PLAY is on Netflix from October 6, 2023. It was also released in select theaters on September 29, 2023.
Director: Chloe Domont
Writer: Chloe Domont
Cast: Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan, Rich Sommer, Sebastian De Souza
An unexpected promotion at a cutthroat hedge fund pushes a young couple’s relationship to the brink, threatening to unravel far more than their recent engagement.