Challengers - A Smash Hit

Challengers – A Smash Hit

The 1980s style retro movie poster for ‘Challengers.”
Design by BLT Communications

Let me paint the picture for you. It was a casual Sunday afternoon, and I was almost late to the theater. I initially believed Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers would be yet another unceremonious trendy flick that I’d discuss at brunch. But I can attest, Challengers is everything you wouldn’t expect it to be.

Cut to the climax of the film, and I’m on the edge of my seat. I quit playing tennis years ago, yet the film’s dramatic high synth music made me feel as though I was back on the court. I remembered how the sun’s rays would blaze through as I’d whip around the field with my partner, and that’s when it really hit me. Challengers’ soundtrack encapsulates how rewarding tennis really is.

Inspired by Berlin Techno and ’90s rave music, Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor created a score that’s “counterintuitively perfect,” as dubbed by The Telegraph. The Challengers soundtrack mimics the hectic nature of tennis, with back and forth beats that leave listeners absolutely hooked.

This movie had me (and my boyfriend) absolutely floored. Not only did the chemistry between the actors captivate everyone, but the whole theatre watched with serious anticipation as Patrick and Art would face off against each other. I would argue a LOT of Challengers  is burned into the mind of the audience, especially the usage of tennis as a symbol for desire.

The soundtrack mimics the intensity of the three main characters, who are all flawed in their own ways. Guadagnino showcases Tashi’s endless thirst for her desires through her tennis matches, painting her out as a ruthless go-getter. The tension between her and Art is intensified further by the the soundtrack, which elicits a sense of doom and determination.

If you’re looking to experience this undeniably astounding score, I’ve made a playlist listing some of my favorites from the Challengers collection, as well as a few songs that elicit similar emotions and sound alike. I couldn’t imagine a better soundtrack to get your adrenaline up and running. Pair this playlist with a high-intensity workout or when you’re getting ready in a pinch; I promise it’ll be worth your while.

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