Synopsis: 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.
Director: Chloe Domont
Stars: Alden Ehrenreich, Phoebe Dynevor, Eddie Marsan
A financial backdrop sets the scene for the story of Luke (Ehrenreich) and Emily (Dynevor), who work at the same firm and are secretly dating — having inter-office relationships is frowned upon. While they maintain their professionalism in the office, they can’t wait to rip each other’s clothes off at the end of the day.
When we first meet the couple, they are at a family event and sneak off to the washroom to have sex, which results in one of the most unique on-screen proposals.
Their work environment is highly competitive, where co-workers backstabbing each other is commonplace. The duo keep their heads down and work hard. Luke is on track for a big promotion after the dramatic exit of the previous manager, and word in the office is the job is his. Emily is sincerely excited for Luke, but in a turn of events, the promotion goes to her.
Luke should be excited for his fiancé but starts to feel inferior to her as the big bosses want to take her out for drinks, and she becomes the centre of attention. As Emily is soaring at work, Luke starts to falter, and we see the impact the promotion has on their relationship.
Fair Play does a fantastic job of exploring personal relationship dynamics, work culture, and the treatment of men and women. Chloe Domont has directed a strong film that is not preachy but uses the characters to expose these dynamics for all to see.
Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story) plays brooding very well. His transition from a supportive, loving fiancé to an emasculated man is seamless.
Eddie Marsan plays Campbell, the boss whom everyone seeks approval from, as a cold puppet master who has no allegiance to the employees that worship him. Marsan, known chiefly for his supportive work, does a great job with the on-screen time he is given.
Phoebe Dynevor (Bridgerton) is impressive in this film. While there is a strong cast, her acting is very impressive. Her character juggles so many things at once: her new promotion, dealing with her fiancé’s disappointment and navigating the corporate world. Dynevor’s performance goes beyond merely fulfilling a role; she excels at it. The power dynamics are different than ‘the norm,’ and that’s just one of the things that makes this film stand out.
The acting ensemble does a terrific job, and Chloe Domont directs all the sequences quite well. Fair Play is a gripping, highly captivating film that will foster discussion.