Enemy (2015)

(I’ve put it under 2015 because that is when this film was released in the United Kingdom)

Jake Gyllenhaal has a knack for those creepy, disturbing, intense films recently doesn’t he? In his younger days was the likes of Donnie Darko, but now since 2007 he has starred in some of the creepier films to hit the box office, including the likes of Brothers, Zodiac and more recently Nightcrawler. 

This film knows how to build tension brilliantly. Directly from the live sex show scene (that wouldn’t go amiss in Ryan Gosling’s Lost River) up until Adam discovers his perfect doppelgänger Anthony (both played by Jake Gyllenhaal of course) in the film Where There’s a Will There’s a Way. An immediate obsession begins for Adam, and the tense ride continues and begins a downward spiral into a deep dark story.  

The subtle score throughout the movie is used to excellent effect and builds the tension massively, especially as Adam and Anthony interfere with their doppelgängers respective life. The music isn’t even blaring a whole lot, it’s just subtle tones used over a period time, but with dramatic and fantastic effect.

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Of course, the acting helps this movie out no end, with the creepiness invoked by Jake Gyllenhaal, who was known for hardly blinking in the movie Nightcrawler. Javier Gullón did an absolutely astounding job of adapting the novel, The Double,  originally written by José Saramago, as the film kept the twists coming and kept drawing me in with the information that was spilled.

Jake Gyllenhaal is supported by Mélanie Laurent and Sarah Gabon, however, the necessary driving force (as I mentioned) is definitely Gyllenhaal. Convincingly Adam and Anthony had to have two different character arcs and they definitely did with Gyllenhaal handling this task superbly. Adam takes on the sheepish character arc, whereas Anthony takes on the confident arrogant character.

Villeneuve’s use of special effects is virtually nonexistent, possibly because of not wanting to shift the focus away from the story and the acting, which probably ended up being the best decision. His shots of Toronto are fantastic with the slight ting of green plastered throughout the film, giving it a very sickly feel (to probably represent the sickness that is sat in either Adam or Anthony’s head). And of course, not forgetting (possibly my favourite shot) the gigantic spider crawling around in the heights of Toronto. (see below)

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This film was a pleasure to watch and the pacing was brilliant. The film stood at around 90 minutes, but didn’t feel all that long through the dramatic use of music (in the right places of course) and the superb acting. And of course the real focal point of this film would be the story because to be truthful I’m still not 100% sure on the true nature of the story. (I would actually love to hear people’s interpretations about this and what you thought about this film as it still sits playing in my head)

8/10

I know this has been one of my shorter reviews, however with the nature of the story it was quite difficult to speak about it without giving away too much information. Truthfully, I recommend this film, I would not recommend however if you have a massive phobia of spiders as they are used in a few scenes.

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2 comments

  1. I watched this in 2014 and it was definitely in my top 3 of that year. I still regularly think about and wished at the time I had someone to discuss theories with. I’d recommend looking in to two theories in particular: one you can read about on Slate, has to do with a totalitarian regime. The other one, my favorite, you can read a few versions of on Reddit. Basically, it explains the movie and the imagery of spiders through his relationship to women. To me, it makes perfect sense when looked at that way. Especially THAT ending! Don’t want to say too much more for people who haven’t see. It yet. Thanks for the great review, may have to go and rewatch it now.

    1. I appreciate this comment greatly. And yes, the ending is truly bizarre. I understood the imagery of the spiders, however, I find the ending one of the more bizarre ones (Nothing has perplexed me more since Donnie Darko I believe) considering the ending and the characters involved. Thank you for the great comment too, I shall definitely look into these theories too!

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