Thought provoking cinematic and orchestral crescendo. I thought finding one’s genetic double should be a joyful event, cause instantly you would have a best friend, but on second thought, he could also be your worst enemy cause he would know all your weaknesses. As Canadian director, Denis Villeneuve said at different interviews, his work was loosely based on the novel The Double by Nobel prize laureate, José Saramago. I am half way through the book, and Saramago had a distinctive writing style, i.e., a chapter was built on one long paragraph, and so did Villeneuve. Like Incendies(2013), Enemy built on simmering tension that awaits a volcanic finale, but this time is a subtle yet visually comical and symbolic dark ending.
Opening scene: Gentlemen club. Naked woman at point of orgasm. Catwalk of more naked women. Jake Gyllenhaal‘s character is at the helm of the runway show. A silver platter; 6 inch heel crushing down on a tarantula… he doesn’t bear to see the end. Adam is a University history professor, his lecture is about control and dictatorship that has been passing on in centuries; he leads a dull life, it seems. He lives in an apartment of a dense development ( many aerial shots of the complex respective to the mega urban city – Toronto, to show its isolation). He has a girlfriend, Mary(Mélanie Laurent), she always leaves in the middle of night. They have sex, talk little about nothingness. She is more a FB.
One day, his colleague suggests him a movie. He rents it, and watches it. It isn’t any good, except in his dream, a scene is recreated, and he thinks he sees him in it. He gets up and finds the scene, and there he is, his doppelgänger confirmed. After some investigative work on the internet, and stealth field work, he finds out who and whereabout Anthony lives. Anthony has a wife, Helen (Sarah Gadon), six-month pregnant.
I better stop here before I give away too much and spoil the fun. This is one of those films that people either hate (slow, vague, and unexpected ending) or love it (mysterious, well-crafted puzzle, genius theme, plausible plot when one sits and thinks about all the images or clues). I am the latter, and I believe I have cracked it. As they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But let me give you some random words to share my theory: marriage, web, entangled, women, excited men, adultery, trust, f*#k, making love, chase…, affair, forgiveness, trapped.
This is not a WTF film at all, so be patient. I would put this and We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) in the same category, based on the fact both leads were introspective. In other words, who are they, what they have done, and the consequences.
WATCH…solving a puzzle. Crescendo!