Denis Villeneuve’s “neurotic spy movie” proves too abstruse for its own good.


Double trouble: Jake Gyllenhaal


Prepare to be baffled. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a vaguely abstracted history teacher in Toronto who is recommended a DVD by a colleague. In it, he is struck by the resemblance to himself of a minor character. So, bored by the life he leads and its numbing repetition, he decides to track down this lookalike actor…


For those who like their films dense and metaphysical, Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy may offer some intrigue, and there are good turns from Mélanie Laurent and the ubiquitously protean Sarah Gadon as the women in the respective lives of both Gyllenhaals. Villeneuve, who also directed the riveting Incendies and Prisoners, describes Enemy as an “existential erotic thriller” and a “neurotic spy movie.” True, it is faintly erotic and is beautifully rendered, but its appeal is likely to be limited to Kafka fanatics and Gyllenhaal completists.




Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace, Tim Post.


Dir Denis Villeneuve, Pro M.A. Faura and Niv Fichman, Screenplay Javier Gullón, based on the novel The Double by José Saramago, Ph Nicolas Bolduc, Pro Des Patrice Vermette, Ed Matthew Hannam, Music Daniel Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, Costumes Renée April.


Pathé/Entertainment One/Mecanismo Films/micro_scope/Rhombus Media/Roxbury Pictures-Pathé.

90 mins. Canada/Spain/France. 2013. Rel: 2 January 2015. Cert. 15.