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
An earlier version of this film, also based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, and also to have been called The Double, came close to being made by director Roman Polanski in 1996. John Travolta was to have played the lead role alongside Isabelle Adjani, John Goodman and Jean Reno, from a script by Jeremy Leven. Shooting was to have started in Paris in June 1996. However, just days before principal photography was due to begin, Travolta left the project after an argument with Polanski about alleged changes to the script and the film collapsed shortly afterwards. See more »
I would tear the asshole off an elephant for a piece of trim I wanted that bad.
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This is a seriously weird and disturbing movie that initially looks like it's going to come across as a bit of a 21st Century downmarket version of Brazil. Our hero experiences a sequence of unsettling events, seemingly unconnected and apparently trivial to a degree, although clearly aiming to tee up some of the later action.
The lighting, the sounds, the camera shots are all wonderfully done, setting a disturbing and unsettling atmosphere that gently but with increasing urgency begins to throw a blanket of latent claustrophobia across characters and happenings. We witness curious incidents and are left to guess their significance, our hero reaches out to the girl but is beaten to the jump by....who exactly?
How much of what we see actually takes place is questionable. How much some of the latter scenes make sense even more so. Yet, as it twists and turns towards the denouement, I found myself gripped and engaged to an uncommon degree. It is a difficult movie as it winds up, no question, but I find the notion that anyone feeling suicidal needs warning before viewing as slightly hysterical.
On the one hand, this is an easy film to describe, whether you reference the source material, or your talk about the doppleganger and what it might be like to find one has a double. Yet on the other hand, it's almost impossible to sum this up after one viewing, as there felt like there are so many little bits and pieces that suddenly reveal themselves to your eyes and ears. that you're forced to think about going back to sit back through it again. The question is, which one of you will go...?
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