Enemy

"Excellent"

Enemy Review


This may be a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, but mainstream audiences should also note that this is an artful film that refuses to tell its story using the usual formula. For some viewers, this psychological angle will be exhilarating and challenging, although it might feel elusive to others. Either way, Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) has boldly made a film that defies expectations and gives Gyllenhaal two of his strongest performances in years.

Yes, he plays two roles in this doppleganger mystery. We meet him as Adam, a Toronto history professor with a beautiful but busy girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent) and a dull repetitious life. One evening he watches a movie at home that features an extra who looks exactly like him, so he sets out to learn more about the actor, credited as "Daniel Saint Claire", although everyone calls him Anthony. Adam discovers that Anthony's wife Helen (Sarah Gadon) is six months pregnant, and when the two men meet they are both disarmed that they look so exactly alike, down to their scars. Adam's mother (Isabella Rossellini) insists that he doesn't have a long-lost twin. Then things start to take a darker turn as the two men begin to learn things about each other.

Director Villeneuve is superb at getting under the skin of his characters, and the film is shot and edited to take us right into Adam's troubled mind, revealing his more shadowy inner corners through movie clips and creepy cutaways that may or may not be part of Anthony's freaky secret life, which involves some sort of elite sex club. Villeneuve further builds the mood with a horror-style musical score (by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans) and insinuating, sexy editing. He also resolutely refuses to explain what everything means, including the central plot itself, preferring to challenge viewers to internalise everything and discover their own explanation.

Fans of more straightforward storytelling may find this frustrating, but there is still plenty of entertainment here. Gyllenhaal is simply terrific as both the reticent, hapless Adam and the fiery, unpredictable Anthony. Their scenes together are remarkable both for his performances as for the technical wizardry involved in doubling him. And both Laurent and Gadon are able to do fascinating things with their complex characters. So in the end, the film is a dreamlike odyssey about a man confronting the reality of his own life. But is it a teacher regretting his safe decisions, or an actor worried about becoming a dad? Either way, the film is a bundle of humour, drama and emotion that doesn't let us off very easily.

Enemy Trailer


 

 



Enemy

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 6th February 2014

Box Office USA: $1.0M

Distributed by: A24 Films

Production compaines: Rhombus Media, Roxbury Pictures, micro_scope, Mecanismo Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 68 Rotten: 24

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Producer: , Miguel A. Faura

Starring: as Adam Bell/ Anthony St. Claire, as Mary, as Helen, as Adam's Mother, Stephen R. Hart as Bouncer, Joshua Peace as Carl, Loretta Yu as Receptionist, Tim Post as Anthony, Darryl Dinn as Employee, Kiran Friesen as Sad, Broken Woman, Alexis Uiga as Dark Lady

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