Enemy proves Villeneuve's versatility by telling a mind-boggling mystery with stunning twists and turns. (by PointMan528491)
With last year's successful thriller Prisoners, Canadian director Denis Villeneuve made a name for himself among American moviegoers. A year later, with the release of Enemy, the impact Villeneuve has left doesn't seem to be anything that will die down any time soon. Reteaming with his Prisoners star Jake Gyllenhaal, Enemy proves Villeneuve's versatility by telling a mind-boggling mystery with stunning twists and turns, deep hidden meanings, and a tremendous double performance by Gyllenhaal.Adam Bell is a disheveled, run-of-the-mill everyman living in Toronto, Canada, where he <more>
works as a college history professor. When he's not teaching at the university, he's sitting around his high-rise apartment in a bored manner or making love with his girlfriend, Mary. Life for Adam is, for a lack of a better word, boring.Things change when a colleague recommends a movie to Adam. Not a fan of watching movies, Adam very reluctantly agrees to rent the film from a local video store. Initially unimpressed with the movie, Adam notices something odd within the movie: one of the actors, by the name of Anthony St. Claire, looks like him. Identical to him, even. This strange discovery fuels an obsession within Adam. An obsession that faces him with situations he would have never expected.Adapted from Jose Saramago's The Double, Javier Gullon's screenplay leaves the true meaning behind these events up to the viewer. Although there are very subtle hints to the general idea of the story, there is no clear cut answer to the many twists and turns faced within the film's 90 minute run time. What may be a story of totalitarian beliefs to one viewer, as referenced in Adam's lecture in the beginning of the film, may be a story of marriage in the modern era. It's amazing how screenplays like these can have such a wide range of themes without any of them being wrong.Despite a talented cast including Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, and Isabella Rossillini, it's Jake Gyllenhaal who steals the show. Gyllenhaal delicately balances the introverted, resentful nature of Adam with the loud, imposing personality of Anthony. It's even more impressive that this performance stands as one of Gyllenhaal's finest in his long list of great roles. Gadon gives a surprisingly great performance, managing to say a lot with just a long glance at Gyllenhaal. Laurent and Rossillini have smaller roles, but are important assets to the story nonetheless.Enemy has the eerie atmosphere and the thrilling plot that Prisoners had, but that's really their only similarities. Whereas Prisoners was grounded in reality, Enemy is more dream-like, more surreal. This all comes through Villeneuve's delightful directing style, featuring some truly frightening imagery that will strike a nerve with its viewers. However, the hypnotic nature of the film never takes away from its storytelling, which is woefully important for a film that relies this much on its storyline.Enemy isn't for everybody, but it's target demographic is sure to find the film to be spellbinding and hypnotic. Villeneuve's devious directing is sure to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat the whole time, up until the chilling final frame before the film cuts to the credits. Gyllenhaal holds up the entire film with his bravado double performance, as well as the fantastic supporting cast. With all this together, Enemy has proved to be one of 2014's earliest successes, and it is going to prove to be a tough one to beat.
Watching this film, knowing little to nothing of what would find me, turned out one of the most pleasant film experiences in months. And perhaps it might be necessary to explain 'pleasant' here: the word does not necessarily mean that one is comforted, has fun in the usual meaning. Film-wise it means, at its best, to be challenged. Challenged, here, meant to be glued to the screen. It's a little difficult to write a review on it. I've read through some of the others and saw that almost all reviewers had problems. Some were trying to solve the riddle the more confidence <more>
displayed, the less successful they were . Perhaps it's best to paraphrase what one of the reviewers wrote: try and go through this film as if through a dream, through reality enhanced. Enhanced reality feels very much like the opposite, and this is the feel of the film. From the choice of colours to acting to ambivalence about identity, the result is as hypnotic as it's unsettling. The very simple story is told very plainly, but underlying is the intricacy of a nightmare. The discomfort feels like a single, stretched emotion. Something about this film works wonderfully, and as with the best of literature that narrates between the lines I wasn't always able to tell why that went the same way for me with the spider-theme: it worked before I understood . The music is an inseparable part of the film. The film wouldn't have been the same with another soundtrack, a large part of what works in it isn't merely carried by it, but co-created. Pleasant also, albeit in a more common sense, to be finally able after quite some time to give a best vote for an achieved fusion of everything that makes a film for the viewer, unsettling, challenging and deeply rewarding. 10 out of 10 Theraphosae.
Portuguese author José Saramago 1922 – 2010 , whose celebrated novels can be seen as allegories and commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor BLINDNESS, SEEING, THE STONE RAFT, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO Jesus Christ, DEATH WITH INTERRUPTIONS, THE CAVE, ALL THE NAMES, CAIN etc , published THE DOUBLE in 2002: it took more than 10 years before being transformed for the screen by Javier Gullón and directed by Canadian Denis Villeneuve. For those who remain under the spell of Saramago's strange and seductively intelligent writing this film <more>
will satisfy. For those who prefer linear story lines of everyday possibilities the film will likely not find an appreciative audience. This is a film that demands the full attention of the viewer and the acceptance of alternative ways of viewing reality and alternative reality.Living in Toronto, Adam Bell Jake Gyllenhaal is a college history professor, a loner, routiner, whose contact with the world outside the classroom is limited to life with his live in girlfriend Mary Mélanie Laurent . A fellow teacher Joshua Peace , apparently attempting to open Adam's vistas, recommends he watch films and recommends a particular film to Adam. When Adam watches the film he notes an actor playing a bellhop who looks like Adam. 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 again Jake Gyllenhaal . Claire is a Toronto based actor with only a few on-screen credits, and is married to a woman named Helen Sarah Gadon who is six months pregnant. Adam 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 seemingly better adjusted than Adam. Their lives become intertwined as Claire himself ends up becoming obsessed with Adam, but in a slightly different way. Is Adam viewing his alternate real self a married man with a child on the way and escaping his reality with an affair with Mary? It is left for the viewer to decide. The atmosphere created by the actors Gyllenhaal is excellent as are Laurent, Gadon, and Isabella Rossellini who plays Claire's - or Adam's? - mother , the cinematography by Nicolas Bolduc and the music score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans are stunning. The introduction of a tarantula motif adds further mystery to this vivid film. A film for adventuresome thinkers who enjoy being challenged. Grady Harp, September 14
ill explain enemy for everyone (by raisingparanoia)
nobody seems to understand enemy, I loved the movie personally and you understand it if you watch it twice and pay attention.okay ill try to explain it, it is about one man fighting with himself , while it is portrayed as two people Anthony/Daniel and Adam only one of them is real, and its Adam, I know this because in the beginning on the phone his mother is speaking and says "Adam honey" and also later on in the movie his mother also tells Adam who is not an actor to give up his dreams of being a third rate actor. now the story of this movie is hard to understand , its about <more>
Adam and Helens marriage and the remaining spark of an old affair, in the beginning you see it open with Jake Gyllenhaal in what is presumably a strip club, eventually you see a woman come out and step on a spider, the woman is Mary, Adam's affair , after that it opens to Adam sitting in his car as you hear his mother leave a voice mail for him. Throughout the movie you see spiders, spiders represent his affair with Mary, and how he still thinks about it, and when you see Adam with Mary he really isn't its just representing his still lasting feelings for her. you see when Adam calls Anthony it really wasn't Adam, it never happened, the whole phone call scene was his imagination, helping him realize he needs to forget about Mary. I'm gonna skip a bunch of unimportant things and try to go as chronologically as I can. At the point where Anthony tells Adam hes going to have sex with his girlfriend , that's really just Adam thinking to himself about him needing to get rid of Anthony and the memories of Mary. so when Anthony goes and takes Mary out that doesn't really happen. whats happening is Adam is thinking that up to help in the getting rid of memories, it is also revealed that Adam is the real person when Adam and Helen lay down and Helen asks how was school . the scene of Mary and Anthony having sex and Mary freaking out is Adam realizing he is married and needs to get rid of the memories, when Anthony and Mary crash the car it is Adam killing off the memories , squashing the spider per Se , this is supported when it zooms in on the crashed cars window the crack looks like a spiderweb, when Adam wakes up the radio speaks of a car crash but it says no details so It is likely that was just chance. also Helen reminds him about his mother calling him, which you should remember from the beginning of the movie. when Adam opens the letter and gets the key, it is a key to the strip club place, and he says to Helen he might have to go somewhere tonight. he goes to look at her and she is a huge spider, this represents how him going to the strip club would bring back the spider. during the movie the spider gets gradually bigger until it is huge and he cannot get it off his mind. so I hope I've explained well enough to help you understand what an amazing movie this truly is.
"Enemy" movie analysis and meaning (by pablocarlier)
"Enemy" is the latest movie from Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, of "Prisoners" fame.It is a doppelgänger story about a boring, gray man that discovers there is a cool, fancy actor that looks exactly like him. Exactly. Of course, he can't resist getting in touch with him, and of course that's where trouble begins.Its twisted plot, visual features and philosophical themes have earned it a "what the heck" fame.This movie is total chaos.This is me trying to decipher it.NOTE: This is just a summary, for my full review please visit: bit.ly/1eVEtD6Adam <more>
and Anthony are two sides of the same person.This is a man who feels trapped by his present as a boring, married, college professor about to become a father. He remembers his old dreams of youth being an actor, having a cool bike, being a "man" . Spiders in the movie represent the "woman as a trap" in his mind, commitment that represses his individuality.He gets carried away and leaves her wife and life for an adventure with another woman. This is represented by the initial private club scene where a stripper his instinct crushes a spider the burden of his marriage and child .He lives as an empty shell during this affair memories stuffed in boxes in the back of his mind, torn pictures of his past representing the disconnect from his wife .He reminisces of his old life represented as his finding and research of his doppelgänger and his household . He does not like what he sees when he discovers his impulsive self. We learn he left aside his dreams for his wife six months without visiting the acting agency, six months pregnant .He is reminded by his mother his conscience of what really matters and what he has. Finally, he decides to return to his wife after an internal struggle where his instincts and his sense of responsibility fight to death. This death of his passionate, independent self is depicted literally as a car crash that kills his desire and ends with the close-up of a spider-web. He is trapped again.His responsible self has dominated. But he is bound to make the same mistakes all over again. He finds and decides to use the key to the private club, darker desires come back to haunt him. And the cycle starts over again, in Hegelian form, repressing the self for the collectivism.
A disturbing psychological thriller (by trublu215)
Enemy is the latest thriller from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, and it stands as a hybrid mix of David Lynch and David Fincher at their very finest. Enemy follows Adam Jake Gyllenhaal on a journey to find his exact lookalike named Anthony, a terrible D-list celebrity. As his investigation deepens, the mystery thickens and he is thrown into a fray way above his head. What works in Enemy is Gyllenhaal's fearless performance as a man who is searching to find who he really is. There are a couple scenes that he has where is truly riveting and it becomes so hard to take your eyes off <more>
the screen. It really is an explosive yet very contained performance that I feel needs a lot of recognition. Enemy marks itself as a film about identity and never knowing who you truly are and the pressures of wanting to become something you're not. While it remains as a heavy message, it still makes for a film that almost demands repeat viewings. At 90 minutes even, the film moves and never slows down enough for us to even breathe. Before we can even question what is going on in one scene, Villeneuve throws us another curve ball to contend with. While that may bring confusion to many people, it is very welcoming to a viewer in the mood to do some serious thinking. Anything beyond that, it may garner some negative responses especially if you're not paying close attention. Enemy works well as a psychological thriller, bringing some of the most disturbing images I've seen on screen in recent years. This film is NOT scary, but it is extremely uneasy and very creepy, especially towards the last twenty minutes of the film, which had me holding my breath as we finally discover the truth of what is going on.Overall, this is one hell of a film that really does almost require a second and possibly a third viewing. I highly recommend it, especially to fans of David Lynch's Eraserhead. The images are memorable, the performances are very well rounded and this is just a very very well done film.
An Addicting Mind-Bender from the Director of PRISONERS (by brando647)
Denis Villeneuve garnered a lot of attention for his mainstream success with PRISONERS, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, but it was it smaller, more obscure release that I wanted to see. ENEMY was released around the same time as PRISONERS but never saw a national release and I had to wait for the home video release to finally catch it. Watching it, I figured out why it never went mainstream. Most general audiences don't like something they can't understand, and ENEMY is probably best described as a mental cluster fu mess. It has a surface plot that's easy enough to <more>
understand but the film is loaded with symbolism and deeper themes. Most of which can't be discussed without entering spoiler territory so I won't touch on it much, but this is a movie that inspires discussion or at the very least will leave you contemplating it long after it ends. I know my first viewing led to two days of thought trying to decipher what I'd seen and it wasn't until I scoured the Internet, reading over the frustration of others and the myriad of proposed meanings, that I felt I'd come to an understanding. But that's me and my obsessive nature, and others can do their own research. On the surface, ENEMY is about history teacher Adam Bell Gyllenhaal . Adam is suggested a film from a work colleague that he might enjoy and becomes obsessed when an extra in the film looks exactly like him. He tracks the actor down, Anthony also Gyllenhaal , and discovers they're physically identical in every way. And then it gets weird.At first impression, ENEMY is a very depressing film. It's incredibly dark with lots of shadows and harsh lighting, and the entire movie has this bizarre yellow tint to it. Everything is has an unnerving yellow sickness to it. And the characters well, no one is happy here. Adam is a depressing little man. He doesn't say much and he's very socially awkward. He's got a beautiful girlfriend named Mary Mélanie Laurent but there's some unknown tension between the two of them. She seems to come to his barren apartment every night and the two of them spend a minimal amount of time together before moving to the bedroom, and she always seems to leave in anger or exasperation when it's through. Anthony is more outgoing, more confident. He's married to a beautiful woman Sarah Gadon in a crumbling marriage racked with previous infidelities on his part. She seems hopeful that he's changed but the recent events where he hides his meeting with Adam have her wondering if he's returned to old habits. Everyone's pretty miserable but Adam finds hope for something interesting when he encounters his doppelganger. Whatever it was that piqued his interest, it fades fast as the two come face-to-face and Adam immediately regrets it. Anthony immediately moves to do what pretty much any one of us would probably do if we discovered we had an exact duplicate somewhere in the world with a beautiful girlfriend.The surface plot is simple enough but there is so much more boiling beneath the surface of ENEMY. Honestly, I'd seen it twice and couldn't quite piece it together on my own. I only came to full understanding after doing some additional searching around the web for interpretations. I didn't have to do all the supplemental research. The movie's was perfectly fine as a piece of head-scratcher entertainment. I wanted to do it. I found ENEMY so enthralling that I wanted to know more. It's a very slow moving movie and spends most of the first half establishing the atmosphere and building the suspension but then it grabs you and you can't stop watching because you're so interested in seeing how it'll all play out. At least, I was. Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing in the dual role. I was impressed with Sam Rockwell in Duncan Jones' MOON but Rockwell was essentially playing the same character interacting with itself. Gyllenhaal invests such seamless separate personalities into Adam and Anthony that they truly feel like two individual men. He's done an incredible job with ENEMY and I hope he gets some accolades for it. Mélanie Laurent isn't given much as Mary, but Sarah Gadon is undeniably sympathetic as Anthony's pregnant, hopeful wife Helen. Every involved brings their best to the table, making ENEMY one of the better hidden gems I've found in the past year's independent film selection. It's not going to be a film for everyone but anyone who enjoys a film that leaves you contemplating it after the credits roll should give ENEMY a chance.
The weirdest yet most enjoyable movie experience I have had in years. (by BigDick3)
Villeneuve has came out and produced another brilliant film, I love that he has used Jake Gyllenhall again after Prisoners. He owns this film with a wonderful performance.There is a lot of confusion about the film and what the spiders represent, was there really 2 Jakes or were they the same guy? I have read some pretty interesting ideas from other people, I don't claim to completely understand it but would like to throw something out there for consideration.The movie opens with the biggest clue of how to understand what your about to see when the message "Chaos is order yet <more>
undeciphered" appears. The whole movie is like a jigsaw puzzle that will make sense if you can put it together in the correct order.I have not read every review or theory on it but from the ones I have read all seem to believe that the scene in the "Sex Club" we see at the beginning happens before most of the other scenes and that the scene at the end where he tells the wife he plans on going out before she turns into a giant spider is him repeating the cycle all over again.In my opinion the "Sex Club" scene takes place afterwards, we see him walking down the corridor with the caretaker and only Jake has a key, he lets the caretaker in. We hear in the elevator the caretaker has been before but does not think he will get a new key. So it's my opinion that the key in the envelope is the new keys that were being sent out and he as a favour allows the caretaker to tag along.There are some clues throughout the film though that go along with the theme of history repeating himself for example when we hear Jake give a lecture and then the same lecture slightly mumbled and less enthusiastic. I have read people say this represents his day to day life however my opinion is that they are actually a year apart. He was giving the same lecture to the next generation of students. I believe that most of the story takes place over a period of a year based on the 2 incidents where "6 months" is mentioned. The first is when he goes to the talent agency and the security guard has not seen him in 6 months, and then again when his wife says she is 6 months pregnant.I won't go through every scene and tell you my opinion of what goes where as part of the fun is figuring it out for yourself by watching it a second and even third time.I could be way off with all of this and completely wrong, but in my opinion that is the beauty of this movie.
Enemy: A Lynchian episode of "Wife Swap" (by ghost_dog86)
Viewer Discretion Advised. This is going to be a movie that many will hate. In fact, during my showing I sat across from a couple who walked out during the first act. That said, I am now going to explain to you why I thought "Enemy" was one of the more terrifically mind-bending movies of the year so far, while in the same breath letting everyone unfamiliar with writer/director David Lynch he did not direct this movie know that they are better off steering clear of this Jake Gyllenhaal/Denis Villeneuve collaboration.Liken to a Lynchian episode of "Wipe Swap" or a <more>
Cronenberg retelling of Mark Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper", "Enemy" was adapted from Jose Saramgo's critically acclaimed novel by screenwriter Javier Gullon, but ultimately brought to the screen by Denis Villeneuve, who you may know as the director of last year's "Prisoners". The film follows an awkward history professor Gyllenhaal who by happenstance discovers he has a double or a twin or a copy also played by Gyllenhaal . It takes him a while, but the professor eventually decides to confront this man who shares an uncanny resemblance to himself, which leads him down an abstract and quite disturbing road. While this Twilight Zone-esque plot does sound interesting, the key to understanding the movie lies more within its images; images which range from the macabre, to the voyeuristic, to the dreamlike and sometimes even to the visually indecipherable. That's right, there are scenes in this movie which are purposefully too dark to make out any sort of clear action, but with just enough light to see figures and shapes. OK, so I realize that I'm not doing a very good job selling this movie to people with eyes, but let me assure you that this "dimly lit" effect only happens a few times during the movie; so don't worry, Villeneuve does an excellent job of showing what is relevant. In fact, I'll take it a step further and say "Enemy" does stand as my favorite directorial attempt of the year so far.Side Note: Gyllenhaal's performance should not be undersold. He is very good here playing dual characters with vastly differing personalities. And the few bits of cryptic dialogue amidst this well constructed screenplay especially the things that are said during classroom sequences do act as the pinch of metaphysical spice thrown into the stew. But the images are and should be the focal point.Still, as silly as this is to say in regards to a film this surreal, there is actually an illogical moment that happens in the latter half of this story, which sets the bizarre but wildly interesting final act into motion. For that reason and the forced pacing in the first act I had no idea what was even happening for the first 30 minutes I did take away a star.Another Side Note: There is supposed to be a dark comedy called "Double" adapted from the Dostoyevsky novella of the same name, coming out later this year, which even though I haven't read, supposedly has a similar premise. When all is said and done, it should be interesting to compare and contrast these two films.Final Thought: For many "Enemy" may be a movie that doesn't work unless you see it twice, which is a tough sell. If "Prisoners" has a touch of an homage to David Lynch or David Cronenberg encased in a sort of big budget, big name, pill pocket if only to make the film more palatable for the masses then "Enemy" even though it also stars Jake Gyllenhaal is just the opposite; a total surrealist waking-dream that is on the surface hard to swallow, then slowly lures you into its web like a spider would a fly . Only to shock everyone in the theater with a final shot that will either have you running to the box-office demanding your money back or demanding to buy a ticket to the next showing, knowing that you won't be able to shake that final image until you figure out what it means even though I can't say for sure that that this ending has a clear cut meaning. If that sounds horrible, again, this is not the movie for you.