Enemy (2013)

Enemy

My Score

Adam Bell is a Toronto area History college professor. He is a rather somber man, largely because he is stuck in a routine, which includes a relationship with his live-in girlfriend, Mary. While watching a rental movie, he spots an actor in a bit part that looks like him. He becomes obsessed with finding out about this double of his. He learns that the actor’s stage name is Daniel Saint Claire, whose legal name is Anthony Claire. Claire is a Toronto based actor with only a few on-screen credits, and is married to a woman named Helen who is currently several months pregnant. Adam then becomes obsessed with meeting Claire, who he learns upon first sighting that they look exactly the same, from the facial hair to a scar each has, but Claire who outwardly is more “put together” than Adam. Their lives become intertwined as Claire himself ends up becoming obsessed with Adam, but in a slightly different way.

Genre : Thriller/Mystery
Country : Canada/SpainEnemy

Cast
:
Jake Gyllenhaal : Adam and/or Anthony
Mélanie Laurent : Mary
Sarah Gadon : Helen

Director :
Denis Villeneuve

My opinion

“The last thing you need is meeting strange men in hotel rooms.”

Enemy“. Directed by Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhaal in a leading role (or roles). Hell yeah ! The director and one of the protagonists of “Prisoners” . This has to be be an excellent movie since I’ve put “Prisoners” in my personal top 10 of reasonable brilliant movies in 2013. This was a slightly incorrect assumption

A few tips before you watch this bizarre and very strange movie.

Don’t call the electronics shop, where you recently purchased your ultramodern 55″ LED TV, in a panic and don’t start screaming at the helpdesk employee because the RGB color settings are severely screwed up and they need to replace the unit immediatly. Trust me, the color palette that you get to see on your TV the entire movie, is fine. It’s as if you are exploring a coffee-colored land full of yellow , beige and (probably spider excrement) brownish hues. At times I thought I was still wearing my Boss sunglasses with slightly tinted glasses still. Also, are you having a period of persistent sleeping disorder and you need benzodiazepines with the annoying side effect of feeling sleepy during the day, then I don’t recommend this movie. Because it’s painfully slow. And finally don’t watch it if you don’t like movies where you say “Huh!” at the end and you frantically start googling forums and wikipedia-pages to find any explanation about the movie.

Enemy

But are you a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal ? Then you’ll surely don’t want to miss this one, because he plays even two personages in it. Or one ? And when you’re not into movies with a straightforward , predigested and terribly simplistic storyline, but rather a complicated movie with a maze of possible storylines and plausible explanations , this is really a must see for you.
Adam is a slightly neurotic teacher who’s teaching about dictatorial regimes and how they maintain control over people by applying certain strategies. And more important (probably an exam question) it’s a pattern that repeats itself throughout history. After a suggestion of a colleague, he rents a movie one evening and sees to his surprise his exact image acting in this film. What follows is a complicated voyage of discovery. You’ll be wondering the whole movie whether there are indeed two persons or that these two individuals are fused together into a schizophrenic person with apparently an identity disorder .

Enemy
It wasn’t a totally confusing story for me. I took into account that Adam might possibly have some psychological problems. The behavior and phenomena that were shown like regular headaches (frequently depicted), mood swings, sexual dysfunction (his girlfriend gave up after the third attempt) and lose sight of the time, were an indication. The used metaphors at the end were also evident. This was in my opinion nothing more than leaving the past behind in a psychological way and starting fresh in the present.
Enemy
Jake Gyllenhaal plays an excellent character role. The acting of Sarah Gadon was at times simply breathtaking brilliant. The look on her face as she glances at Adam and you clearly can see the suspicion and confusion appear on her face, is simply masterful. The film editing was sometimes really ingeniously worked out. Stopping and restarting images at the rhythm of the music. The delusions were sometimes quite hallucinatory. The perverse beginning gave you immediately a sinister feeling. Applying Adam’s teaching material (about the patterns and the repeating) on reality, so that recurrent sequences were used in the beginning, was ingenious. Also, the ending is a compound with the beginning. If you think about it more deeply you’ll notice it’s a well-crafted movie.
Enemy

And yet it it left me indifferent. For me it’s just a movie to spawn “the experts” of the better movie and give them something to entertain (as the Romans did with the common people) so they can  analyze the different layers of this film and discuss it in detail. For me, it was a slow and boring movie with a straightforward story in which eventually someone wants to leave his “cheating days” behind him. I love a well-prepared mind fuck, but in this movie I was like, “Yeah guys tell me the denouement so I finally know how it fits together.” And this already fairly early in the movie. Too bad, if you look at the acting performance of Gyllenhaal.

My rating 4/10
Links : IMDB

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3 Comment

  1. Great review. I'm looking forward to seeing this one. I've been impressed with Gyllenhaal recently and I like the look of the cinematography from the stills. I felt the ending let Prisoners down and from what you say here, it sounds like this one may have similar issues. Not sure when it's out in the UK but I'm off to check.

  2. Thanks. Kind of an arty weird movie. A "You like it" or a "You hate it" movie …

  3. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be useful to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their sites.

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