When the preview trailer for Enemy was released, I knew the second after I watched it that I had to see this film. It looked very different than the majority of movies that were coming out and the involvement of Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) helped peak my interest. Plus I thought I just had to support a fellow Canadian!
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) played both main characters, Adam and Anthony. Adam was a college professor and Anthony was a small rate actor, both located in the Greater Toronto Area. Gyllenhaal did a great job at portraying two different people. He changed his mannerism and body language for each character so it was easy to tell them apart. Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) played Mary, Adam’s girlfriend. Sarah Gordon (Belle) played Helen, Anthony’s wife. Both Gordon and Laurent gave fine performances and went all out with their roles witch in this day and age is admirable.
The cinematography done by Nicolas Bolduc (Rebelle) was different and unique. He was able to get some great overhead shots of Toronto and its suburbs that contributed to the overall eerie tone of the film. The gold-tinged color of the film worked very well in my opinion, which again added to the creepy feel this movie successfully had. Enemy was a very visual film and some of the hints to figuring out the puzzle that was the plot were hidden in the cinematography.
The story of Enemy was very intriguing. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. As the movie went along, I wanted to know more and more what was really happening. And then just as I thought I was going to get the satisfaction of a fantastic ending to a chilling film, it ended. I don’t think that I’ve ever been left with so many unanswered questions at the end of a film before. Now there are a lot of theories online explaining the movie’s intention. But I just haven’t been able to settle on an explanation yet. For every theory out there, there is something in the film that can discredit it. Screenwriter Javier Gullón (Hierro) could have and should have left us with at least one viable explanation. However, Enemy is based on a novel called The Double, written by José Saramago. Maybe it has an equally strange ending?
Like I mentioned earlier, this movie looked a lot different than other film offerings available from the trailer alone. And indeed it was. It took leaps and bounds that many films don’t, and props should be given to Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) for trying what he did. I always appreciate creative people who break through the norms.
My review of Enemy is short, but so was its running time. As a viewer, I wish I were given a better understanding of the meaning of this film. I do enjoy it when movies have layers and lead me into different directions, but I was lead a bit to far astray here. If you are looking for something different, Enemy is for you. Though I will warn you, you will be left scratching your head.
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay: Javier Gullón
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon and Isabella Rossellini