Sunday, March 23, 2014


Movie Name: Enemy
Year of Release: 2014
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

2013 was a good year for Denis Villeneuve. In parallel with his bigger budget feature, "Prisoners", he also premiered "Enemy", a decidedly more experimental and offbeat feature that has now reached the screens. The film follows the story of Adam Bell, a history teacher, who lives a seemingly normal life - he goes from school to his home, has a relationship with a beautiful young woman and gets phone calls from his mom every now and then. One evening while watching a film, Adam notices that a supporting actor in the feature looks exactly like him. He successfully finds out who the actor is and where he lives - and much to his surprise and shock verifies that the actor is his exact double. The double, named Anthony, has a pregnant wife, and his relationship with her has been stressed with the shadow of infidelity. The relationships between these doubles start spiraling out of control, when they seemingly stop understanding where one's life ends and the other begins.
"Enemy" is based on a book by Jose Saramago, named "The Double". The story of the doubles who meet and who are enthralled by each other's lives while death looms by, has been transposed by Denis Villeneuve superbly. The black spiders that dominate the film, represent the shadow of death over these relationships and over these doubles. The film questions if Adam and Anthony are indeed the same person, with one being a representation of the other's guilt (the unfaithful husband). Denis Villeneuve manages to create a sense of unease throughout most of the film, with a great cinematography and soundtrack contributing to the sense of discomfort that keeps escalating. Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic as the dual central character - Adam the meeker of the pair, and Anthony the ego driven counterpart. An awesome film worth discovering.