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Movie Review: Enemy

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Prinz Lee wrote this review 3 years and 11 months ago

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Aside from placing your brain in a freak-blender, this dark, eerie, cryptic, strange suspense thriller also ups Ghyllenhaal’s screen-cred!

ENEMY tells the story of a university professor named Adam (Gyllenhaal) who is coming close the end of his relationship with girlfriend Mary (Laurent). One night while watching a film recommended by a work colleague, Adam spots a bit-part actor who looks just like him. Obsessed by the desire to meet his newly found double, Adam tracks down Anthony, who along with his interesting artistic life, also lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Gadon). Engaging him in a complicated, psychological bind, it also lures Anthony into a unique obsession upon himself once the two men meet. As bizarre matters start to arise, intertwining their lives results in a grimy, dangerous, psychosexual outcome of of haunting struggles.  

Adapted from Nobel Prize-winning writer Jose Saramago’s THE DOUBLE, ENEMY united Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal prior to PRISONERS. Solidifying themselves a duo-of-darkness, this original unification not only places Villeneuve as a director with an unnerving vision that taps into one’s psyche, it also provides that darkened it-factor Gyllenhaal oozes as an actor we reluctantly fell in love with way back with another crypto-freak-flick titled DONNIE DARKO.


As a whole, this film works! Everything is enjoyable in one of the most psychological, sadistic ways. Playing off each other, Adam and Anthony are complete opposites in every way, shape, or form. Gyllenhaal not only rolls out smoothly with these roles, but owns them. Making you both cheer and hate him, to date this is by far one of many roles I think nails it down why this man is the type to cast as an odd, enigmatic character. Dense to see as his characters flourish on screen, ENEMY is the type of script that metaphorically allows Gyllenhaal’s Adam and Anthony to live up to the ever-so-famous phrase of: “You’re your own worst enemy.”

While unfolding on screen, paced in a way that leaves your brain rattled, peripheral characters lend very little as these two unite. The women in their lives carry a sense of sanity and stability, but the grip is lost as these two up their stakes upon each other’s existence. A lot is left for you to interpret among Adam and Anthony, but when that horrid climax hits, it’ll linger inside you for a bit piecing a lot of the set-ups portrayed in the film that deals with personal identity and horrid contrasts of duality.

ENEMY isn’t a film for everyone. If anything, perhaps a cynical acquired taste to an extent, but it’s truly a unique piece of cinema that questions mankind’s limits, abilities, and extremes. By far one of the best so far this year, ENEMY leaves a mind-fuck of a mark.


Grade: A / Genre: Mystery & Suspense / Rated: R / Run Time: 90 Min.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve



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