A clerk in a government agency finds his unenviable life takes a turn for the horrific with the arrival of a new co-worker who is both his exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and seductive with women.
Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simons exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simons horror, James slowly starts taking over his life. Written by
The Double and Enemy have generally the same plot line regarding a shy and neurotic man facing off against a charismatic doppleganger that seems determined to shake up his world. Enemy was darker in tone, but The Double takes a more comedic route which is appropriate since Richard Ayoade directs this movie. He one ups his previous film Submarine as this is a thrilling movie with great performances, surreal atmosphere and visuals, and some great black humor thrown in.
Good: Jesse Eisenberg turns in a great performance as the two leading roles James and Simon. He embodies the neurotic role well because he pretty much can do it with a blindfold on. His wilder role is more in tune with his role as Mark Zuckerburg in The Social Network. He is supported by a great performance from Mia Wasikowska who is becoming one of my favorite present day actresses as the love interest as she balances sad, quirky, and sweet. The direction is also really enthralling as it turns in a noir style atmosphere in the directing style of Terry Gilliam and Wes Anderson. It's a different style to Ayoade's last film and it looks great. The humor gels with ease with the more serious aspects of the film especially with Eisenberg interacting with himself. There's some social and psychological context in there that is subtle in its execution.
Overall, this is a fantastic film that balances humor, suspense, visuals, and great acting in one weird package.
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