STRANGE: Enemy, starring Gyllenhaal, is a baffling tale which will have you seeing double.


    Apr 03, 2014




    Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon


    Denis Villeneuve




    History professor Adam (Gyllenhaal) sees his lookalike in a movie. He tracks down the actor Anthony (also Gyllenhaal) and they strike up a strange relationship. Anthony wants to get with Adam's girlfriend (Laurent), and Adam wants to meet Anthony's pregnant wife (Gadon). There's also some strangeness with spiders and a sex club.


    RATING: M18



    Gyllenhaal versus Gyllenhaal may be an interesting premise but this baffling tale will have you seeing double - and not in a good way.




    The New Paper


    In this post-The Vampire Diaries world, doppelgangers have been pretty much played out.

    After five seasons of Katherine and Elena - and then Stefan and Silas - there's basically no evil-twin stone left unturned.

    I've seen two movies - Enemy and another one called The Face Of Love - featuring doppelgangers over the past week.

    This one's a bit better, I guess. Enemy is the sort of unwholesome mind-bender that will probably appeal to certain film geeks but few others.

    In fact, with its central conceit about a guy spotting his double in a movie, it's sort of custom-made for those who spend an inordinate amount of time consuming films.

    Enemy is darkly poetic with a lot of confounding spider imagery but it's not as sophisticated as it thinks it is.

    "Pretentious" is a word I absolutely hate to use - it's just so mean - but Enemy is flat-out pretentious. If you like this sort of thing, there's a director named Gregg Araki who is much better at it. He's not afraid to use bright colours, or to have a little fun (check out Kaboom).

    Anyhow, Enemy is basically your typical sort of dour psychological drama. Even the ordinarily great Gyllenhaal's performance comes across as obvious.

    Rating: 2/5



    The New Paper


    You really need to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy this movie. Many critics have said this is one eerie and creepy flick. I kind of agree with them. The thought of slowly losing one's mind is pretty scary. You see how both men go into the deep end when their minds start playing up.

    It's not like they don't have a good life to begin with.

    Adam has a beautiful and supportive girlfriend, a stable job and a decent apartment.

    Anthony goes home to a lovely wife and is going to be a father.

    Adam's depression is his downfall, while Anthony is too self-centred to be content. Canadian director Villeneuve knows how to bring out the best - and worst - of Gyllenhaal.

    The actor was good in last year's Prisoners (which Villeneuve also helmed), and again delivers a fine performance in the dual roles. He offers slight nuances for us to tell the difference - and similarities - between the meek, sadsack Adam and the mean, arrogant Anthony. But the many puzzling questions that are thrown in your face throughout are a bit much after a while.

    The ambiguous ending is open for debate, so much so that this movie looks set to be in some film student's thesis.

    Rating: 2/5