ENEMY (2013)

Enemy (2013)

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.

3 clappers


About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. I know what you mean! And those two guys do look like the same man. Very true post.

  2. Good review, Tom. Once again, this seems to be a quite interesting plot that was handled disappointingly. Mélanie Laurent in a rather mediocre film, incredible.
    This really seems to be a love it or hate film. As is Donnie Darko…

  3. Good review. It’s a very twisty movie and it still has me thinking about to this day. Maybe I’ll give it a re-watch sometime in the near future, maybe not.

  4. You’re certainly not the only one who doesn’t get it. But I don’t know what the point is of this film. I read that it’s all just a dream.. How lame. I watched it the other night and was really disappointed, not that I was expecting much, but yeah. The acting was good, but other than that I really didn’t get it either..

    • No it was a strange one. I read that Gyllenhaal is one and the same person and that Melanie Laurent represents an affair he had and… Oh, I give up!

  5. I keep hearing good things about this film. You’ve intrigued me Tom!

  6. theipc

    Hey – I didn’t read this because I was thinking about renting it today BUT I would have to rent it for ten bucks. Is it worth ten bucks?

  7. I understand its merit and admit that genius was behind it….but boy was it a bore. The theater I was into burst into laughter at the ending!

  8. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/03/14/enemy_movie_ending_explained_the_meaning_of_the_jake_gyllenhaal_and_denis.html This is an interesting theory to support the film, I suggest reading about the author and his book if you wish to truly understand it. 🙂

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