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Enemy (2014) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 21 August 2013


Jay´s Review

Portentous: Giving a sign or warning that something unusually bad or unpleasant is going to happen. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Pretentious: Showing the unpleasant quality of people who want to be seen as more impressive than they really are. Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Now my review: Have you ever been told you have a doppelgänger (someone who looks exactly like you)? I have.... But I have never been motivated to investigate, unlike our hero in this chaotic Mystery/Thriller, where we see a glum history professor become fixated on meeting his dynamic double after he spots him in a movie.

Based on the novel by the late José Saramago and directed by Canadian Denis Villeneuve ("Prisoners"), our R-rated story has nudity, sweaty bodies and a car crash, but no gunshots, blowie uppie stuff or much profanity.

Here are some of the cast members:

  • * Jake Gyllenhaal ("Prisoners") is both the professor and the actor. Give this guy some points: his physical bearing is very different, based on which character he is playing. I was impressed.
  • * Mélanie Lauren ("Inglorious Basterds") is the professor's girlfriend, far more patient with his moods than I would expect.
  • * Sarah Gadon (Lots of TV) is the actor's porcelain-skinned, very pregnant wife. She seems uncommonly smart.
  • * Isabella Rossellini ("Infamous") may or may not be the professor's real mother.

Shot back-to-back with the filming of "Prisoners" this pretentious work of "Art" was off-putting to me from the beginning. It had gloomy lighting and mystifying relationships, plus unexplained weeping. These were compounded by two unlikable characters, each with an identical scar on his torso...which is never explained.

The music, photography and production design all send portentous signals that all is not as it seems, particularly when the spider theme keeps showing up. The abrupt ending felt to me like a Shaggy Dog joke, you know, no punch line...

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