Enemy (Denis Villeneuve, 2013)

What's it about? Downbeat college lecturer Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal) sees his exact double acting in a film and resolves to find out who he is. Things get a bit weird.


Is it any good? Be warned - Enemy sets itself up as a psychological thriller, but it is not a straightforward film. Events and people depicted may be real or imagined, the chronology is probably not linear, there's recurring spider motifs and the final scene is a genuinely WTF?! moment. Don't expect any easy explanations. But ruminate on it for a while (and it is likely to lurk in the dark corners of your mind for a bit) and it begins to make sense, even if some aspects remain open to interpretation. A gloomy palette and score help create a claustrophobic, uneasy atmosphere which match the themes of oppression and entrapment, also helped by Gyllenhaal's downbeat performance(s). If you're a prospective father worried about commitment, best avoid this. If you are already a father, you'll know all about the spiders already. Or if you didn't, you will after watching this.

I don't trust you. What do others think? Caused no small amount of head-scratching amongst viewers, but there were many favourable comparisons to David Lynch, Orwell's 1984 and the works of Kafka, whilst the recent Doestoevsky adapatation The Double makes for an interesting companion piece. But what does it all mean? Well, neither Gyllenhaal or Villeneuve seems prepared to explain it clearly for us (perhaps they can't?), but you'll find any number of theories on t'Interweb. The most comprehensive comes from this guy, whose explanation runs to 25 mins. Elsewhere, it's always fun to check out baffled viewer comments on IMDB when it comes to this sort of film.

"I would rather sit on a soiled nappy eating raw spinach while watching a infomercial on kitchen Mop's than watch this film again."

"i think some guy who probably thinks he's an artist, knocked up some woman, cant handle any responsibility... so he got drunk and baked then wrote this piece of garbage while taking a dump"

"whatever was going on with the spider just confused me."

Hard to argue with that, but I kinda liked the film.

What does the Fonz think? What a tangled web we weave....

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