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navigating the minute psychological distortions that allow men to somehow see things like romance and codes of honor in what is actually an insanely bleak, everyday reality for women. one where they're systemically considered nothing more than petty property (not worthy of dignity or being heard) and the only chance they might ever have at some form of justice is an ugly, hyper-violent pissing contest. a really solid piece of writing by damon, affleck and holofcener that is rich with character subjectivity and detail that ridley realizes with a very effective sense of misery and weight; emotional and physical. you wait quite awhile for the duel without even realizing it, and by the time it actually arrives it's unbearable, almost existential. you can't believe how much is at stake over two guys crushing each other to bloody bits in a pile of mud. also, everyone is good obviously but ben hasn't had this much slimy, on-screen fun since Gone Girl.