Cert: 15 Runtime: 90 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon and Isabella Rossellini
Chaos is order yet undechipered
Denis Villeneuve impressed the cinematic world with Prisoners last year, personally it was one of the best and deserved more accolades. Prior to the this Denis Villeneuve filmed a little film called Enemy, based on a book called The Double. Upon seeing the trailer I was expecting a good thriller mystery, but seeing the poster of Gyllenhaal’s head and a giant spider on it. I was rather baffled to what I am about to see. To have Gyllenhaal and Laurent in one film is a great bonus for me, I do respect these two great actors. So what is The Double all about? Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a glum, disheveled history professor, who seems disinterested even in his beautiful girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent). Watching a movie on the recommendation of a colleague, Adam spots his double, a bit-part actor names Anthony Clair (Jake Gyllenhaal), and decides to track him down. The identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwine.
When you finish watching this film you will question a lot of things. Basically you will say WTF? Enemy is deeply disturbing and captivating, it will leave you confused, scared, angry, surprised and shocked.Although there are very subtle hints to the general idea of the story, there is no clear cut answer to the many twists and turns faced within the film’s 90 minute run time. What may be a story of totalitarian beliefs to one viewer, as referenced in Adam’s lecture in the beginning of the film, may be a story of marriage in the modern era. It’s amazing how screenplays like these can have such a wide range of themes without any of them being wrong.Despite a talented cast including Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, and Isabella Rossillini, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal who steals the show. Gyllenhaal delicately balances the introverted, resentful nature of Adam with the loud, imposing personality of Anthony. It’s even more impressive that this performance stands as one of Gyllenhaal’s finest in his long list of great roles. Gadon gives a surprisingly great performance, managing to say a lot with just a long glance at Gyllenhaal. Laurent and Rossillini have smaller roles, but are important assets to the story nonetheless.
Enemy has the eerie atmosphere and the thrilling plot that Prisoners had, but that’s really their only similarities. Whereas Prisoners was grounded in reality, Enemy is more dream-like, more surreal. This all comes through Villeneuve’s delightful directing style, featuring some truly frightening imagery that will strike a nerve with its viewers. However, the hypnotic nature of the film never takes away from its storytelling, which is woefully important for a film that relies this much on its storyline. The score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans is absolutely haunting. The subtle use of music through out the film gives it that spin chilling momentum. Enemy isn’t for everybody, but it’s target demographic is sure to find the film to be spellbinding and hypnotic. Villeneuve’s devious directing is sure to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat the whole time, up until the chilling final frame before the film cuts to the credits. Personally this film is about the subconscious of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character fighting between lust and love. He fights with his subconscious in order to come back to reality. The use of spiders for me personally is a symbolism of women and how they can tangle men in their webs whether it be in a relationship or an affair. You be the judge of the film though, Enemy is one of the best films I have seen this year so far.