Enemy, based on the novel The Double by José Saramago, stars Jake Gyllenhaal in a dual role as Adam and Anthony. It is a cerebral movie in that not much is explained. The director, Denis Villeneuve leaves little clues as the film unfolds, but ultimately any meaning is left to the viewer to decipher. It is a compact, dense film and every object, every scene has meaning. However, the meaning is oblique and not fully explained. Careful watching of this film will reveal a story which is much more than it appears to be on the surface.
Adam Bell, a history professor in Toronto, doesn’t seem to be happy. He always has a disheveled appearance, his apartment is unkempt, and his girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent) seems to be unhappy with him. He is in a rut in his classes; we see him delivering the same lecture several times to different students.
He sees his identical twin in a bit part in a movie which was recommended by a co-worker. He tracks down the actor whose stage name is Daniel Saint Claire and whose legal name is Anthony Claire. Adam meets Anthony and things go bad. Anthony seemingly is better off than Adam. Anthony has a beautiful, pregnant wife (Sarah Gadon), dresses well, has a nice apartment, and seems to have a lot of money, despite being a bit-part actor. But he doesn’t appear to be any happier than Adam.
Isabella Rossellini has a small role as Anthony’s mother. Again, careful viewing and listening to the scenes she is in will be rewarding in understanding what the movie is about.
The ending of this movie is confusing if you haven’t been paying attention, but packs a startling punch if you have.
Worth a look if you like cerebral movies which make you think.
Skip it if you like your movies explained and wrapped up in neat packages.
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