Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) star in the new film by Academy Award-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), a brilliant adaptation of the Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s novel The Double.
Brilliantly adapted from the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago's 2002 novel The Double, the latest from the Academy Award-nominated Denis Villeneuve breathes new life into the doppelgänger tradition, with a hypnotic, haunting, surreal approach that reaffirms the Quebec director as one of our generation's most skilled storytellers.
Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a glum, disheveled history professor, who seems disinterested even in sex with his beautiful girlfriend, Mary (Mélanie Laurent). Watching a movie on the recommendation of a colleague, Adam spots his double, an actor named Anthony Clair, in a bit role, and decides to track him down — an adventure he quite relishes. The identical men meet, and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwined.
Set amidst the high-rises of Toronto, accented by a palette of muted browns and discordant cello notes, the world of Enemy signals something deeply wrong hiding beneath its glassy, opaque surfaces. Dark dreams creep onto the screen, and as they begin to bleed into reality, the truth becomes even more unknowable.
Gyllenhaal is transfixing as both Adam
and Anthony, engendering empathy as
well as disapproval while embodying two
distinct personas. He is supported by an
excellent small cast, including Sarah Gadon
(a 2011 TIFF Rising Star) as Anthony's
pregnant wife. Enemy marks Villeneuve's
impressive foray into English-language
filmmaking (his US-shot film Prisoners
is also screening at the Festival — and also
stars Gyllenhaal). With masterfully controlled
attention to detail, Villeneuve takes
us on an enigmatic and gripping journey
through a world that is both familiar and
strange — and hard to shake off long after its
final, unnerving image.
AGATA SMOLUCH DEL SORBO