Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Double: Blu Ray Review

The Double: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by Madman Home Ent

It's another case of double identity at Madman Home Entertainment with Jesse Eisenberg standing in for the doppelganger treatment (with Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy pulling similar duties).

This time, Eisenberg stars in Richard Ayoade's interpretation of Dostoyevsky's The Double as Simon James, an office worker, who's having a bad day. Things get worse when James discovers he's been usurped in the office by his exact double - who exudes more confidence, is less nervous and is on his way to the top.

Caught up in this web is Mia Wasikowska's Hannah, who falls for the double much to Simon's horror - and it's here that Simon starts to lose control of it all.

IT Crowd actor and Submarine director Richard Ayoade's already demonstrated a great eye for highly stylised film and he follows this trend in The Double, with some terrifically framed shots and some stunning visuals that bring the drab colours of greens to life in ways which leap off the screen. There's a real sense of the absurd here as Simon's world starts to disintegrate and Eisenberg does enough to balance the differences between the two - it's great to finally see Eisenberg break away from the usual neurotic fare and playing a stronger character.

But it's the visuals which are really the triumph of the film; Ayoade's captured an essence of a nightmare that seems just close enough to reality with the dark, dingy landscapes and attitudes. Patches of dry humour scatter throughout and bring a degree of levity to the dystopian proceedings. 

Stylistically, The Double is a triumph - though I do begin to worry that Ayoade's painting himself into an admittedly wonderful corner here; I look forward to seeing what he can do with a relatively straight story in the future.


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