Enemy

Enemy

2014 (Denis Villeneuve) 14A, 90 minutes

Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini

Jake Gyllenhaal is Adam Bell, a history professor who lives with his girlfriend in an anonymous high-rise apartment in downtown Toronto, a city that cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc shoots in various shades of sickly yellow, like the whole place is suffering from a collective case of jaundice. Adam is disheveled and stricken with the same vague unhappiness that visits all ordinary men in their 30s. One evening, in the wake of a disturbing dream involving a tarantula nipping at the heels of a stripper, Adam notices something strange in the background of a movie he’s watching: himself. Or rather, his doppelgänger. There, standing behind the action as a glorified extra, Adam spots an actor who looks like his perfect double. Leaping at the opportunity to solve all of his existential crises, Adam hunts down the actor he sees on screen.

One of two Villeneuve films starring Jake Gyllenhaal at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival "Enemy” begins like the kind of movie that a slumming Brian De Palma might take to Sundance. The opening title card tells us that “Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered”, a silly pearl of wisdom that needlessly complicates our understanding of the film that follows, but also anticipates the dream logic with which the story will unfold.

David Ehrlich, Film.com

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