Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Synopsis: A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.
Now, I’ve said before in previous reviews that I don’t always get, or even detect, the hidden meanings in a lot of movies. This means that I find many a decent movie quite odd. Enemy is odd. Remarkably it is directed by Denis Villeneuve, the same guy who bought us the totally not odd “Prisoners” last year, Enemy was actually filmed prior to that movie, although only seems to have come out now for some reason.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a history teacher in a failing relationship with Mary (Melanie Laurent). One day, upon recommendation of a colleague, he hires a film. In that film he notices an actor that looks exactly like him. Upon doing his research he tracks down where the guy lives and phones him, speaking to his wife. Eventually their paths cross and everyone’s lives sort of go a bit pear shaped.
On face value, to me, Enemy is the sort of film that is both utterly confusing and intriguing at the same time. I thought I was following it, but then kept having the rug pulled from under me. Some things I could explain, I think, and then some things were just utterly bizarre. For instance, I’m guessing that both characters played by Gyllenhaal are, not actually dopplegangers, but one of the same person. Is that because Adam is schizophrenic? I have no idea, and to be honest, Enemy wasn’t remarkable enough for me to care particularly. Then there are all the Spiders, and that very last shot. Huh? I couldn’t explain that stuff if I tried I don’t think. It is clearly a movie filled with symbolism, and if you have either read the book, or are clever enough to decipher it, then I’m sure there is a good film in here. Certainly aspects of it were good.
Enemy isn’t a film for the easily confused, or those looking for a straight forward thriller with twists and turns. It is arty and vague, but it does have merit in places. I’d say it’s probably a love it or hate it movie, except I actually fell some where in the middle. I appreciated what it was trying to do, but just didn’t ‘get’ it.