Enemy (2013) Review

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Enemy (2013) Review

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Based on The Double by José Saramago

Starring:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mélanie Laurent
Sarah Gadon
Isabella Rossellini

Running time: 90 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

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My Opinion:

I’d been wanting to see Enemy for ages & it appeared that it was going to be another one of these movies that would never come out in the UK for some reason. Luckily, it got a limited cinema release then was finally just released on DVD here. Was Enemy worth the wait? Hmm…

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I DO like movies that make you think. However, I’m old. And busy. I don’t have time these days to have to “research” something after watching it the way I used to read Lostpedia after every episode of Lost. Ain’t nobody got time for that! So Enemy ended & I went “WTF?” and immediately went online for an explanation because I’m too old & tired to think these days.

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There are a few different theories about the film but they’re all basically the same and do actually make sense if you think about it & perhaps watch the movie again. The problem with this movie is that it doesn’t really hold your attention on the first watch so the thought of re-watching it in order to piece everything together isn’t really all that appealing. I did something I never do and re-watched the very beginning of the movie once I’d finished it as there’s an important symbolic scene at the start that will possibly help you to understand what you’ve just watched. If you care enough to understand. I’m pretty sure most people won’t care, though, which is unfortunate as it’s a good story.

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I can’t help but compare Enemy to The Prestige in my mind, which is a movie I love. Both films give you a lot to think about but, with The Prestige, I wanted to think about it & discuss it afterwards. The Prestige was exciting from start to finish on the first watch & I was more than happy to watch it again. Enemy is so SLOW. I knew I should be paying attention but my mind kept wandering. Both movies are very atmospheric but it feels like Enemy is trying too hard to be that way through the use of muted colors & a suspenseful, almost Hitchcockian score. Enemy is like a weird sort of cross between Hitchcock’s Vertigo and some of David Cronenberg’s more serious dramas such as Crash or A History Of Violence. Oh, and I suppose a bit of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive as well as far as the “mindfuck” plot (Enemy is far less confusing than Mulholland Drive, though). Hmm – I wonder if Isabella Rossellini was chosen to be in Enemy because of her role in Blue Velvet? Anyway, I’m a big fan of both Hitchcock & Cronenberg (not Lynch so much) so I appreciate the effort on the director’s part to try to make Enemy an “artistic” film. Unfortunately, it feels like more effort was put into being artistic than into making the movie an enjoyable watch and it ended up feeling much longer than its 90 minute running time. I actually think it may have been a better experience overall if the director had gone more “Cronenberg WEIRD” and made Enemy a little more freaky instead of artsy & borderline boring…

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Hey, is that the Saul Bass Vertigo poster in the background…?! I just spotted that! I feel smart now for comparing this movie to Vertigo! 😉

Summary:

I think I’ve done it again… I made it sound like I kind of hated a movie when I actually thought it was okay. Considering that I like the movies that it’s trying to be like (those directed by Cronenberg, Hitchcock, a little bit of Lynch), it’s my type of movie and I’ll always appreciate something like Enemy more than most braindead blockbusters that you forget about two months after watching them. I’ve written this review very soon after watching the movie since I’m trying to not fall as behind on reviews as I did last year but it means that I’m still kind of figuring out how I feel about it. I think I’m a little bit disappointed as the potential was there for Enemy to be great but, when compared to similar films that came before it, it really pales in comparison. It could have gone even more artsy or more weird (my vote is for weird) but instead it actually played it fairly safe, making it less memorable than the films from Hitchcock, Cronenberg & Lynch.

My Rating: 7/10

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27 thoughts on “Enemy (2013) Review

  1. Great review! I really appreciate this movie for what it is, but I had the same reaction as you did when it ended. I spent the next hour online reading theories, and then when I tried to tell friends and family about it, I don’t think I did a very good job of selling it to them, ha!

    • Lol! Glad I wasn’t the only one reading about it afterwards. 😉 Yeah… It’s a hard one to describe to people. Hopefully I haven’t made people want to avoid this one now! 🙂

    • Yeah… It’s a “love it or hate it”, I think, so probably worth waiting for Netflix. Although, as you like things like I Origins, I think it’s very possible that you’ll go for this one. 🙂

  2. I’ve wondered about this. Been seeing a lot of good reviews, but I wasn’t sure if it’d be my thing. I have a feeling I would feel the same about it. Also, I’m going to start how many times you call yourself “old” in a post. Stop that! 😉 Nice work, lady!

    • Just stating the facts! 😉 I’d be interested to know what you thought of this one, Cara. It’s an odd one. It’s not for everyone but I appreciated what they tried to do with it.

  3. I was a big fan of this one. It’s made my top ten of the year and a very respectable position too. That said, I do love films if this nature and Lynch happens to be one of my favourite directors.

    • Glad to find a fan of this one! I’ve actually not really read any reviews of this so wasn’t sure what the general opinion was. If you’re a Lynch fan, I can certainly see why you liked this one. I never like re-watching movies too soon (there are just too many OTHER movies to watch!) but I know this is one that should really be watched a second time once you know what’s going on…

    • Yes! Wasn’t sure if I’d be able to. Just like Snowpiercer!!! I liked the story & all that – just wish it hadn’t been quuuuite so slow, I think. But I appreciated the film. 🙂

  4. I’ve been curious about this one too, I will probably wait till I am really bored to see it. Considering I usually like the same stuff you do. And yes you are so smart for throwing Vertigo in there. I love Jake Gyllenhal though and yes I have time for dat! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Sicario (2015) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

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