Denis Villeneuve has crafted probably one of the most psychologically driven films of the year. After watching this film one night, I was a little on the disoriented side. Truly a mindfuck (for lack of a better word). Enemy unsettles us by opening with some strange, exclusive meeting in a dark room that incorporates spiders. Of all things, spiders. Soon after we are following Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal), a college professor who strangely reminds us of the man we saw in that opening scene.. In an odd turn of events, Adam watches a film where he sees himself acting in. Disoriented himself, he seeks to track down this “double,” and make contact to find out how this came to be. Clues arise here and there and the line dividing reality and one’s mind becomes blurred. The movie definitely becomes more and more strange as it rolls on.
I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the film, mostly due to its odd nature and complicated storyline. The tonality and its intrusive shots make it feel all the more personal to the viewer, as it should. Some find the film’s concept hard to grasp (believe me, I’ve read all the theories). What is refreshing and redeeming about the movie is how obscure and interesting it ends. A startling, unexpected turn that makes us question the peculiar human consciousness. This is a film where the two leading characters were played by the same actor and it works. There is a brief featurette/commentary on the film on YouTube that’s pretty cool. You can watch it here.
The film is loosely based off of Jose Saramago’s novel The Double. I haven’t read the novel, sadly, but what I will take from the film adaptation is Jake Gyllenhaal’s cunning acting. Posture, tone, and charisma between the two very different characters were on point. Personally, I wouldn’t deem Gyllenhaal the most notable of actors, although good looking. For this film, we’ll just say that it suited him well. He fit the criteria for a boring, miserable history professor and also the slick, cooler version of that guy. Again, an interesting psychological flick with an ending that will have you with your jaw dropped.