Enemy: Blu Ray Review
Released by Madman Home Ent
In Denis Villeneuve's Enemy, the Incendies director takes Jake Gyllenhaal and doubles him up. One Gyllenhaal is Adam Bell, a college lecturer whose world is a pattern that repeats itself as he drifts from one lecture to the next, and spends time with his girlfriend (Melanie Laurent).
One day, he's recommended a movie by a colleague and appearing to see himself in the film, his world completely changes as he tries to track down the actor (played by a second Gyllenhaal, who subtly shifts traits). Initially reticent to get involved, Bell becomes obsessed in tracing this doppelganger...
Enemy is adapted from The Double by Jose Saramago and is as suspenseful a watch as it is baffling. Opening at an erotic dance club with a woman squashing a spider and ending with a real "What the?" moment, it's devoid of definitive answers as it spins its tantalising web.
Villeneuve's scattered clues throughout this Lynchian style piece and it clearly would benefit from a second screening as you try to take in all of what appears to be going on under the surface. What part do the spiders play? Why is there an exact double with a version of a similar girlfriend attached to each? Why is there a shot of a spider with ginormous legs stalking over the cityscape that Adam lives in? Is any of it real or is the duality happening within his own mind a la Tyler Durden? So many questions, so much endless discussion - and yet, Enemy is as thrilling a watch as it is indecipherable.
Beginning with a quote that "Chaos is order yet undeciphered" the hook pulls you in as the monotony of life, repetition of routine and the menace of the score begin to bite and inveigle their way into you, burrowing deep inside your subconscious. Themes of escape, conformity, oppression and philandering are all buried within and given life by the subtlest of performances.
Unsettling and disturbing, with plenty of food for thought, Enemy is a fascinating and compelling watch as the slow pans and swoops through a bleak yellow landscape seal you in their web.
See it at least twice to work out what's what in this creepy mind game that's one hell of a trip.
Extras: Interviews, trailer