Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rosselini
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Age Rating: R/15
Running Time: 90 minutes
Once again Mr Jake Gyllenhaal put in a stunning performance, in this fascinating story (based on the book ‘The Double’ by José Saramago) of a psychologically troubled man seeking out his doppelganger after seeing him in a movie.
Such a simple plot line suddenly transforms into a complex masterpiece within moments of watching. You cannot help but be engrossed by Adam Bell’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) character and discovery, and then become fascinated by his encounter with his look-alike Anthony Claire (Jake Gyllenhaal), a small-time actor who lives in the same town himself.
Personally, the less you know about the development of this plot, the better, as ENEMY is an extremely intelligent psychological feature film from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve who had previously worked with Gyllenhaal in his award-winning thriller PRISONERS.
Gyllenhaal once again demonstrates why he is one of the most diverse and intelligent actors in Hollywood at the moment. His ability to play two completely different characters, convincingly, and not have it confuse the viewer is impressive and his display in this film was a great foreshadowing for the success he would go on to have throughout 2014 with the award-winning NIGHTCRAWLER.
The support actresses in this film Melanie Laurent (NOW YOU SEE ME, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) and Sarah Gadon (DRACULA UNTOLD) also have to be credited for the brilliance of this film, both conveying the anxious partners of Adam and Anthony who are at unease throughout. There is so much grit and reality in all characters’ parts in this film that it makes for a really arty feature.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed ENEMY. It was more imaginative than I was expecting, and is definitely an unconventional form of storytelling, using the likes of spiders and other images to symbolise character feelings. However, it is a masterpiece that truly showcases a great writer and great actors, and an indie adaptation of a novel which I can truly recommend.
Recommendation: THE DOUBLE (Starring Jesse Eisenberg) is still on my watch-list, however it now has a lot to live up to in terms of doppelganger thrillers. ENEMY is a must buy for any Jake Gyllenhaal fan or indie genre fan, and at least a rent/amazon prime watch for anybody else. If you do not like arty films though, it may be one to miss for you.