My anticipation for this film was beginning to annoy me; it seemed to be released everywhere with the exception of where I live. Anyway, I finally had the opportunity to see Enemy and my mind is absolutely blown! As the trailer plays it makes mention that Denis Villeneuve, the director of the phenomenal Prisoners, also directed this particular film and I was instantly hooked. This man is a director to keep your eye on; he has one hell of a future ahead of him. With a fascinating premise, a powerful leading man, Jake Gyllenhaal, and a talented director this film had nowhere to go but up. It was nothing like I expected it to be and with every new detail more mystery sprouted. Only with full attention to the story will you be able to grasp the full weight of the film and what the truth really is. While feeling big and almost unattainable, it is in its true nature a simple but highly intriguing and very personable, even relatable, story.
Much like Prisoners, the cinematography is beautiful and filmed with a certain amount of bleakness. It creates this sense that something is wrong while not being overly obvious about it. I must make mention that everything in this film, from the visuals to the dialogue, is important. Anything you see or hear has something to do with the story and the hidden truths of what is actually happening. The clues are there for those who can find them. So, even more so than Prisoners, Enemy’s cinematography is a major catalyst for these characters. The way a shot might linger or focus on a character’s face longer than seemingly needed; it is needed; everything is key (Pun).
Jake Gyllenhaal is Adam, a history teacher at a university. As he goes about his day it becomes apparent that Adam’s day to day isn’t the most varying and in fact it’s downright depressing. He works, goes home, sees his girlfriend and sleeps only to awaken and repeat the process. When a fellow coworker recommends a film to rent, Adam watches it that night. It isn’t until later in a deep sleep that he springs up recalling something he previously hadn’t noticed about the movie he had just watched. Confused, but certain he was remembering wrong, he reviews the movie just to be sure and in his search he discovers a shocking visual, him. In one particular scene, he sees a man that more than resembles himself, it seems that it was in fact him in the movie. This couldn’t be possible of course; he’s a history teacher… isn’t he? He couldn’t have a long lost twin brother… could he? Theories and irrational thought begin to flood his mind and before long he decides that he must meet this man, this identical human being whom he has never met… right? What follows is a trip down a confusing and dark road that will ultimately lead Adam to a realization that he never could have imagined.
This is a film that relies on metaphor. If you understand the metaphors and hidden meanings, the film will open up and reveal itself as something entirely different. The directing is pristine and wastes nothing. The acting, particularly from Gyllenhaal, is perfect and helps guide this odd story along to its final and very alarming scene. This is pure genius filmmaking from a man who quite obviously refuses to cater to the lowest denominator otherwise referred to as those who don’t want to think during movies. This is slow with zero action, but its story is so engaging and entangling and alluring that the run time just flies by. With every turn this takes you can’t help but be ecstatic and impatient to find out what happens next. It makes you pay attention, and if you do so it rewards you with a sort of “ah ha” moment of clarity. I loved this movie so much and when the anticipation and expectation of a film is not only met but ultimately surpassed I feel an immense amount of contentment and happiness. This merely solidified my belief that Villeneuve is a real gem. See this, but give it the utmost attention and you just might see the genius of it all.
Rated R For: some strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Run Time: 90 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Joshua Peace
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 4.5/ Directing: 5/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls