This post includes a character analysis of Chris Wilton, the protagonist of the 2005 film “Match Point”. Beware of spoilers.
The 2005 drama directed by Woody Allen stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Chris Wilton.
In “Match Point”, Chris Wilton is a former tennis pro who becomes a coach at an exclusive club in London. There, he befriends a young man named Tom Hewett, who comes from a wealthy family. Shortly after, Tom introduces Chris to his sister, Chloe. Later on, Chris would also become part of the Hewett family after he married Chloe.
Meanwhile, Chris starts an affair with Tom’s fiancée, Nola Rice, an aspiring actress. She eventually becomes pregnant with Chris’ baby. Nola demands Chris to leave Chloe, but he hesitates. The former tennis player is torn between his comfortable life with Chloe and his feelings for Nola.
Ultimately, Chris decides to keep his luxurious lifestyle. And to get rid of Nola, Chris decides to murder his mistress and make it look like a robbery gone wrong. In the process, Chris also kills her neighbour who saw him entering Nola’s apartment.
After the murders, Chris has visions of his victims, but he reasons himself out of guilt and remorse. Still, they warn Chris about the consequences of his actions. In the end, Chris manages to escape suspicion from the police and gets away with murder.
Note: For those who are interested, here is another article discussing the meaning behind the ending of Match Point.
Chris Wilton Character Analysis in “Match Point”
Match Point presents Chris Wilton as a young Irishman trying to settle down in London. He manages to find a job at a prestigious club, which gave him the opportunity to be closer to London’s elites.
One of the major turning points of his life was when Chris met Tom Hewett. The latter introduced him to Chloe, who would later be his gateway to a more upscale lifestyle.
In terms of personality, Chris Wilton is charming and ambitious. However, underneath his calm and neat appearance, there is a man who is very calculating and sometimes ruthless. That side of Chris Wilton was more evident during his affair with Nola. The man did not hesitate to get rid of her when he deemed her “inconvenient”.
Chris Wilton’s Motivation in “Match Point”
Chris Wilton’s main motivation in the film “Match Point” is to climb up the social ladder. Not only is Chris interested in living a high-quality lifestyle, but he also wishes to maintain it. The proof of his ambitious nature is his marriage to Chloe and his affair with Nola.
Both women in Chris Wilton’s life served very different purposes for him. His marriage to Chloe opened the door to a more than comfortable life. On the other hand, his affair with Nola allowed Chris to explore his more passionate side and satisfy his lustful desires.
Nola’s pregnancy sent Chris Wilton over the edge. The man realized that his passion for Nola was not enough to make him quit the luxurious life he shared with Chloe. As a result, Chris decided to stay with Chloe and murder Nola to silence their affair.
Chris Wilton’s Moral Values in “Match Point”
The protagonist of “Match Point” has a very questionable morality. After finding out about Nola’s pregnancy, Chris finds himself in an impossible situation. Although he enjoyed his time with Nola, Chris cannot see himself “downgrading” his lifestyle. Therefore, he plots murder against his mistress.
After the murders, Chris sees his victims again. During his interactions with them, Chris tries to justify the murders, implying that they were somehow necessary. Chris’ twisted reasoning behind the crimes was his way of bringing himself some peace of mind about his heinous actions.
Chris Wilton and Relationships
There are two important people in Chris Wilton’s life: Chloe Hewett and Nola Rice. The first one, Chloe, is the wife. And the second one, Nola, is the mistress. Both women changed Chris’ life forever in their own way.
Chris Wilton and Chloe Hewett
Chris and Chloe’s relationship, from his point of view, is based on social status and convenience but not passion or love. It’s very obvious in “Match Point” that Chris never fancied Chloe as a woman.
The man doesn’t necessarily dislike his wife. However, Chris never looked at Chloe the same way he does at Nola. In other words, Chris is in love with Chloe’s money more than anything, but she’s completely oblivious to it.
Being with Chloe definitely helped Chris improve his financial situation. First, he gets a better paying job. Then, Chris gets a better apartment. Subsequently, the man also starts to spend his money in fancier stores and ride in better cars.
Chris Wilton and Nola Rice
Now, if Chris Wilton had it all, why did he decide to have an affair with Nola? The man got greedy. Chris thought he could get away with it. Despite aggressively pursuing Nola, Chris never had any intentions of leaving his wife, for the most obvious reasons.
Chris and Nola’s relationship is very superficial. Although their affair was very passionate, it wasn’t enough to make him want to be a better man. Instead, it had quite the opposite effect, which would later end in tragedy for Nola.
The man himself confessed that it would be hard for him to let go of the lavish lifestyle that he has with Chloe. In very simple terms, Nola is all fun and games for Chris, while Chloe provides the financial stability that he needs.
Chris Wilton is a complex character due to his ambiguous nature. At first, Chris seemed like just a humble and charming guy trying to make it in a big city like London. However, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the former tennis player.
When one takes a closer look at Chris Wilton, he is more than just a pretty face. First, the man is great at sweet talk. Second, it’s very evident that this person likes to plan things ahead. Having said that, Chris was never just a lucky man, he has a keen eye for opportunities around him.
Of all the sports clubs in London, why did Chris choose such an exclusive one? First, the pay is better. Second, being around wealthy people gives Chris more opportunities to interact with them. In the end, everything worked as Chris intended. He married a rich individual and got an upgrade in life.