Release Date: 9 February
2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Director: Denis Villeneuve Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon
wish you could award question marks instead of stars.
Like Roger Moore in 1970’ s The Man Who Haunted Himself and Jesse Eisenberg in The Double, Enemy’s Jake Gyllenhaal must confront his doppelganger. He plays history professor Adam who, while watching a DVD, spots an actor who looks and sounds exactly like him. Developing an obsession with the man, he tracks him down to arrange a meet, and their lives begin to intertwine…
“Chaos is order yet undeciphered” reads the opening epigram – a line from Portuguese author José Saramago’s original 2002 novel. When the credits roll on Enemy, it remains stubbornly unencrypted. Is it significant that Adam lectures on how dictatorships control their citizens, and “patterns that repeat through history”? What’s the significance of the darkened room where statuesque women perform for an audience of middle- aged men? And what the hell is it with the spiders? You may posit some theories, but Enemy resists any simple definition.
It’s an unnerving film – understated and detached, painted in sickly sepia tones, featuring faintly sinister shots of ominously looming architecture. Gyllenhaal impresses in his dual role, fluently speaking a different body language depending on whether he’s inhabiting the cowed, nervy Adam or his more self- possessed double. Repeat viewings are called for, and Enemy has qualities that make it a pleasure to enter the labyrinth again in search of answers.
Cast and crew talk about what they think it all means in a 17- minute Making Of. Ian Berriman Villeneuve boiled it down for Gyllenhaal: “a movie about being a man in a relationship, and the fear and the relief in commitment.”
The Open University would always have a place in Daryl’s heart.