Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Isabella Rossellini, Sarah Gadon.
Denis Villeneuve had bewildered audiences with his harrowing ‘Prisoners,’ focusing on child abduction. The movie that preceded it, is ‘Enemy,’ presented at 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, that adapted the novel ‘The Double’ by Nobel Laureate José Saramago, which will be out in cinemas on March 14th.
In this flick, Jake Gyllenhaal handles quite well the interpretation of the doubles: the university professor, Adam Bell, who seeks his exact look-alike, Anthony Clair, after spotting him in a movie. The female actresses inertly weave in the plot, as they portray two different kinds of supercilious partners: Mary (Mélanie Laurent) as Adam’s girlfriend and Helen (Sarah Gordon) as Anthony’s pregnant wife. To add a touch of humour in the sinister and devious story, there’s a cameo appearance by Isabella Rossellini, as the wittingly corky mother of Anthony Clair.
This absurdist-existential-lugubrious mood piece adds a few homages to Kafka and Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut,’ with great camera skill, but leaves too many voids in the script. Javier Gullon’s enigmatic screenplay plays with sibylline themes of duality and identity: we do perceive that the “enemy” is what lies in our psyche, hidden like a spider in a dusty attic, but the dividing line between the unconscious and the ego is so transient that it borders on pretentiousness.
Quebec director, undoubtably has a majestic way of coalescing the moments of apparent reality with the episodes of surrealism, nevertheless the nonsensical nature of the storytelling somehow compromises the charm of the alluring doppelgänger phenomena.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi