A university professor, Adam Bell , is lecturing on chaos and dictators, their want for control and the repetitious nature of history itself. He goes home where he finds his girlfriend, Mary , waiting for him. One day at lunch a co-worker recommends a movie, something “cheerful”. He goes home, sends Mary to bed alone and stays up to watch.
A scene from the movie he’d just seen replayed in his dreams features the man he’ll soon come to know as Anthony Clair, his exact look-a-like, and he can’t get it out of his head.
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 can only be an excellent movie. I’ve put “Prisoners” in my personal top 10 of reasonable brilliant movies in 2013. That was a slightly incorrect assumption
A few tips before you watch this bizarre and very strange movie.
Don’t call the electronics store where you recently purchased your ultramodern 55″ LED TV in a panic and start screaming at the helpdesk employee that 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. You fancy yourself all the time in a coffee-colored land full of yellow , beige and (probably spider excrement) brownish hues . At times I thought I had my Boss sunglasses with slightly tinted glasses still on.
Are you having a period of persistent sleeping disorder and you need benzodiazepines with annoying side effect that you feel sleepy during the day, then I don’t recommend this movie , for it’s painfully (pronounce it stretched now) slow.
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 ? Don’t watch it !
But are you a big fan of Gyllenhaal ? Then you’ll surely don’t want to miss this one, because he plays even two personages in it. Or one ? And you’re not into a movie with a straightforward , predigested and terribly simplistic storyline, but rather a complicated story with a jumble of possible train of thoughts and plausible explanations , this is really a must see for you.
Brief summary : a slightly neurotic teacher who gives lessons on how a dictatorial regime maintains control over people, by applying certain strategies . And very 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 tangled discovery where you find yourself wondering all the time whether there are indeed two persons or that these two individuals are fused into a schizophrenic person with apparently an identity disorder .
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 (Yes after the third time his girlfriend kicks off it was obvious) and lose sight of the time, were an indication. The metaphors that were used at the end were also evident. That in the end it was nothing else than leaving the past behind in a psychological way and start fresh in the present, was clear to me onto the end.
Gyllenhaal gets the most out here and plays an excellent character role. The portrayal 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 on her face appearing, is simply masterful. The film editing was sometimes really ingenious worked out. Stopping and restarting images at the rhythm of the music. The delusions were sometimes quite hallucinatory. The beginning with the perverted show gave you immediately a tightness. Applying the teaching material (about the pattern and the repeating) on reality, so that recurrent sequences were used in the beginning, was ingenious. The end which is a compound with the beginning. If you think about it more deeply you’ll notice it’s highly elaborated.
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