Before they collaborated on last year’s kidnapping thriller Prisoners, Jake Gyllenhaal and director Denis Villeneuve made Enemy, an adaptation of Jose Saramago’s novel about Adam (Gyllenhaal), a college professor who spots his identical twin in the background of a movie.
Naturally intrigued (and a little perturbed), Adam sets out to track down the man and find out what the deal is. Thanks to Google, a device that would have probably put private detective movies out of business in the 1940s, he quickly learns his name (Anthony) and address.
Now if you or I were placed in this situation, what would we do? I don’t know about you, but I would calmly go over to the guy’s house, knock on his door, watch his jaw drop as he saw his mirror double standing there, then ask to go inside and talk about how this could be. Instead, Adam starts stalking Anthony, exploring his background, intercepting his mail, calling his girlfriend and pretending to be him (their voices also sound alike.)
Nobel Prize-winning author Saramago’s novel melded Kafka’s surrealism with a touch of Dostoyevskyan existentialism. The movie, however, is the sort of picture in which people run around doing everything except the most logical thing to do, because that’s the only way to keep the nonsensical plot spinning. There is also a symbolic tarantula which I guarantee will scare the hell out of you in one scene. Just don’t ask me to explain what it’s supposed to mean.
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini.
Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Screenwriter: Javier Gullon. Based on the novel by Jose Saramago.
Producers: M. A. Faura, Niv Fichman.
An A24 Films release. Running time: 90 minutes. Vulgar language, nudity, sexual situations, adult themes. In Miami-Dade: O Cinema Wynwood.