Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: Enemy

Release date: February 6, 2014
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
Who to see it with: Someone who really wants a confusing movie to see.


Enemy is a new psychological thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal. The story explores a man who discovers he has a doppelganger with an entirely separate, but similar life to his own. Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a college history professor, and Anthony, an unsuccessful actor. Their two lives cross randomly and their different personalities begin to contrast as they explore, interact, and slowly invade each other's lives.

The film doesn't reveal much in terms of plot, with random scene flashes here and there and odd metaphors that stick throughout the film. The flashes are strange and not really explained. I'm perfectly fine with a movie forcing the viewer to work to uncover the plot, but in here the film just left threads hanging without any explanation or exploration. For example, there is a crush film thread that's not fully developed but schizophrenically shows up at various parts in the film. The movie itself plods along without much happening. Many scenes are slow, the characters don't develop quickly (or ever), and the plot drags and feels drawn out. I checked my watch after about an hour into the film, which is never a good sign. Gyllenhaal does a great job as both leads and his acting really is phenomenal, but that's about the only positive in this film. The characters are interesting, especially the Adam / Anthony duality, but their personalities have unbelievable reactions to certain scenes and events. I think this was meant to show that they are foils of each other, but often times it just made the scenes odd and unrealistic. In the end, Enemy could have been an interesting exploration and psychological thriller, but it just ends up feeling like an odd dream. 


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