Enemy is, in a word, unconventional.
Starting with the statement: “Chaos is order yet undeciphered”, we first see Jake Gyllenhaal, as the film’s lead, going to a bizarre club where men stand around, or sit if needs must, in a darkened room, watching women get themselves off. A huge spider then climbs out of a gold plate which one of them has put down, and she stands over it and goes to crush it, at which point the film cuts away…
Denis Villeneuve has shot this film in a rather yellow, sepia-tinged Toronto, Canada, with Gyllenhaal as Adam Bell, professor of history, teaching his students in a disengaged fashion about how dictators are always wanting control, but despite his inadventert look of seeming rather out-to-lunch, I’d still be quite interested to sit in on one of his full lectures.
Despite dating the lovely Melanie Laurent, as Mary, he still has a right miserable face on him goes through the drudge of the daily grind at work and home, while lecturing of repetitive patterns happening throughout history. A colleague asks if he goes out to the movies much, and he replies that he doesn’t like them, really, but is recommended “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way”. He rents the DVD, and we get to see brief glimpses of the film, but there’s the proof within that one of its stars, Anthony Claire, as a bellhop, is the spitting image of himself.
Enemy is set around the middle of the last decade, with Adam living in a ghastly housing estate that looks like something out of the ’70s, fitting in with the sepia tones. Of course, we know it’s Jake Gyllenhaal playing both parts, but he’s the sort of offbeat actor who could pull off such a role
The film also makes you wonder… do all of us have a doppelganger? I know an ex of mine ended up dating someone who looked rather similar to me. Not quite Adam/Anthony, or even Roger Moore in The Man Who Haunted Himself, but still it was rather odd.
Now, there’s one thing I have to say about a particular point in the film, but I’ll have to put it in a spoiler section:
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and has no defects on the print, bringing across perfectly the sepia-draped locations.
Audio comes in DTS HD 5.1 and, while it’s not a special FX film, obviously, the dialogue and music come across crystal clear.
The extras on this disc are as follows, and they may be brief in number, there’s a fair bit worth watching for fans:
- Behind The Scenes (47:59): Both of the first two extras have 5 chapters apiece, and this one mostly features random on-set footage. I’d prefer there to have been some structure to it, but to simply point and shoot will give fans of the film that feeling of being there on-set as filming took place.
- Interviews (44:28): Q&A interviews (with the ‘Q’ as an onscreen caption before the ‘A’) with director Denis Villeneuve, plus Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rosellini (probably appearing for longer here than she appears in the film), Melanie Laurent, and Jake Gyllenhaal. The latter is the longest interview at around 19 minutes, with the director’s taking second place at just over 11 minutes. The interviews all taking place between May to July 2012.
- Trailer (2:01): In its 2.35:1 theatrical ratio. For me, it spoils the pivotal moment in the film so I’d say not to watch this, but instead, do watch the film
The menu features clips of the film set to a piece of the incidental music, which is very weird, but engaging.
Sadly, there are no subtitles and the chaptering is the bog standard 12. When it comes to the chaptering, I feel one should come every five minutes on average. Curzon, like many other distributors, go for a low 12 however long the film. I would like them to increase this number.
Running time: 91 minutes
Released: February 9th 2015
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Hawk Scope)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Producer: Niv Fichman
Screenplay: Javier Gullón (based on the novel “The Double” by José Saramago)
Music: Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans
Adam Bell/Anthony Claire: Jake Gyllenhaal
Mary: Mélanie Laurent
Helen: Sarah Gadon
Mother: Isabella Rossellini
Teacher at School: Josh Peace
Anthony’s Concierge: Tim Post
Security Guard: Kedar Brown
Video Store Clerk: Darryl Dinn
Lady in the Dark Room: Misha Highstead
Lady in the Dark Room: Megan Mane
Lady in the Dark Room: Alexis Uiga
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.