Long time no see. Yes I know, I am a lazy bum. Someone ought to punish me for my transgressions.
Lately I’ve been busy with all sorts of stuff, so I haven’t watched many movies. Heck I’ve even skipped some that I really wanted to see in the cinemas even so I’m feeling guilty right now. But now I’m trying to make amends so I’m trying to catch up on all the latest releases and some older movies I haven’t found the time to watch.
One of those movies is Enemy. I’ve first heard of this movie after watching Prisoners, which is a very good movie by the way (go and watch it if you haven’t, go on, off you go). Anyhow, where was I? Ah! Well, after watching Prisoners I read some interviews with the director Denis Villeneuve and Jake Gyllenhall, and they have been talking about how they got drunk and then decided to make Prisoners. Also, the director noted that he didn’t feel free while making Prisoners, that he wanted more artistic freedom to fully express what he wanted.
Well he bloody did that in Enemy, let me tell you.
Let’s take a look at the names behind the movie. The movie is based on a novel The Double (2002) by Jose Saramago. Sadly I haven’t read the novel, but I’ve done some research on it so I know what it’s about.
So okay, we have a great writer and his novel that is the base for the movie. Off to a good start. The director has also proved that he can do a very good job, as he did with Prisoners.
Jake Gyllenhaal on the other hand I wasn’t so sure about before. When you look at his bio actually I shouldn’t be worried. He has done great work in movies such as Donnie Darko, Zodiac, Source Code and even Prince of Persia. No, I haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain so I can’t comment on that. I should probably see it.
Whenever I see Jake’s face I always get reminded of some hollywood playboys who only look good and don’t act very well, but that’s not the case here. Jake has done a marvellous job yet again.
It’s really hard to review this movie, because if you would go on and ask me what the movie is about I couldn’t actually tell you in a precise manner. I guess IMDB’s summary would do a fair job but then again, the movie is something completely different than that.
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.
Okay, so we might have another doppelganger movie with some mystery and suspense. Well, that’s just if you scratch the surface.
First off I have to commend the music score in this movie. In every moment you can hear very quiet music that builds the suspension and has me sitting on the edge of my seat. It also freaks the hell out of me at times.
The photography in the movie is also spot on. The scenery it shows you is always, and I do mean always, connected to plot and it tries to deliver yet another piece of the puzzle. A puzzle I cannot solve. And I don’t think it’s meant to be solved easily, or at all.
The acting is really good here. We have Gyllenhaal who does a splendid job at portraying two people and I must say I really felt the difference between them. It wasn’t one of those bland performances where the movie has to tell you it’s two different people, you can really feel the performance of both people, by the same actor.
On one hand we have a wine-drinking, girlfriend-loving professor that has some really interesting (!) lessons, and on the other hand we have a third-grade actor, who cheats on his wife, visits really weird sex shows and basically lives completely differently than his doppelganger.
There is a lot to note from these differences and performances, some stuff that are really crucial for the story, for which I’ll be offering my theory soon.
Aside from great acting, great directing and photography I must say the movie overall is a really good one. It’s just one of those movies that has you sitting on the edge of your seat, constantly trying to soak in every scene and just fills your head with questions. Oh so many questions. Almost made my head explode.
Just look at that poster.
There are also so many metaphors in the movie, it just riddles your head to watch them all. Oh and the ending. A fabulous ending. Made me spill juice in my lap aswell. A must see.
Before I give my theory about what is going on in the movie, for which I have to warn you that there might be spoilers of course, I’ll rate this movie.
The Popcorn Reporter gives this movie 9/10 buckets.
You might be thinking I gave it too high of a score, but I really do appreciate the movies that have me thinking about them, questioning everything I saw and overall come up with theories for hours and days after watching them.
The following is my theory about the movie and the plot and I warn you that you should not read it before watching the movie. I urge you to watch the movie and then read it. After that I’m happy to hear your input about the movie in the comments, let’s discuss it together!
As you may have noticed there is a ton of spiders and content related to spiders all across the movie. There are scenes that even show webs of cables above the city roads that basically stand there as spider webs. There is many scenes that contain webs and spider references, and to fully capture all of them I had to watch the movie two more times. The one I really liked was the car window after the accident.
What do these webs mean? It would be great if there was an answer to this question but sadly the director has made everyone on the set sign a contract that forbids them from explaining the spiders and their references. Only thing we can do is speculate then.
At the beginning of the movie we see Adam, the professor, and we hear his lecture about totalitarianism. Also at one point he says that this regime succeeds when they take your individuality and the way you can express yourself as a special individual. Since he has a doppelganger, his individuality is taken from him.
Anthony on the other hand gets accused he is not a man, he visits really weird sex shows and he doesn’t behave as a normal person would. He cheats on his wife, and blackmails Adam into sharing his girlfriend.
When you take all of the characters into account, and especially the ending, it made me feel as if Anthony was just a spider, like his wife was. He has been put into the web, to help weave it and to strangle the flies that squirm in it.
I believe the town represents the society nowadays who find themselves in such regimes. Lost inside of a web who made them robots who follow the guidelines of society and what society approves.
Perhaps the movie isn’t made to be understood, not without a key. Just as the quote says in the beginning of the movie. Chaos is order yet undeciphered.
There are many hidden meanings in the movie, and many conclusions to be taken, but I think that the movie, or at least for me, shows the lack of individual expression and the amount of laws thrown upon us today. Every day we follow the same guidelines that have been put on us. You must go to school , get a job, start a family, pay off your bills, educate your children, enjoy your retirement and then die. And then the circle goes on with your kids, just like Adam says , it is a pattern.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts? What is your theory? Share !