6.5/10
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152 user 243 critic

The Double (2013)

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1:22 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Richard Ayoade
1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jesse Eisenberg ... Simon / James
Mia Wasikowska ... Hannah
Wallace Shawn ... Mr Papadopoulos
Yasmin Paige ... Melanie
Noah Taylor ... Harris
James Fox ... The Colonel
Cathy Moriarty ... Kiki
Phyllis Somerville ... Simon's Mother
Gabrielle Downey Gabrielle Downey ... Strange Woman
Jon Korkes ... Detective
Craig Roberts ... Young Detective
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith ... Guard / Doctor
Susan Blommaert ... Liz
Bruce Byron Bruce Byron ... Skinhead
J. Mascis ... Janitor (as J Mascis)
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Storyline

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 StudioCanal

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dvojnik See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,646, 11 May 2014

Gross USA:

$200,406

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,662,515
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The drawing Hannah tears up and throws away evokes Magritte's "Not to Be Reproduced," a painting commissioned by his patron, Edward James. Two identical images of James are depicted in the painting but his face is not shown. The protagonist and his double are named James. See more »

Quotes

James: You can't be doing anything gay. No ice-cream cones.
Simon: I like ice cream.
James: Of course. It's delicious. Ice cream is fine in a cup, but in a cone is gay unless you're with a woman at the time.
Simon: Anything else?
James: No riding on a motorcycle with another man. Exceptions are drive-by shootings, bomb throwings and purse snatchings. Anything else is gay.
Simon: You seem to know a lot about this.
James: Defense wins championships.
See more »

Connections

References A Short Film About Love (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

East Virginia
Written by Danny (as Ilkka Lipsanen)/Traditional
Published by (c) Warner/Chappell Music Finland Oy (Tesoto)
Performed by Danny & The Islanders
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting premise, but alienating film
30 May 2014 | by estebangonzalez10See all my reviews

"Look at me, look at him. He stole my face."

I don't know why this film didn't engage me as it has most people, but there was just something about it and its characters that simply alienated me. The Double is Richard Ayoade's follow up to Submarine, and it feels heavily influenced by other works, especially from directors like David Lynch and Terry Gilliam. It is actually an adaptation of an 1800's novella written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Ayoade adapted it with a unique and clever style. There is a lot of dark humor involved and it also has a philosophical undertone. Despite being influenced by all these works, the film still feels unique and innovative, but it just didn't resonate with me. I'm just not a big fan of these surreal films that don't follow a classical narrative style, and The Double is just that, it plays out as a sort of nightmare for the main character played by Jesse Eisenberg. It's a case where I felt the film was more about style and aesthetics than substance and content. I prefer Villeneuve's Enemy, which is also a film dealing with a doppleganger premise, over this bleak film. There is no doubt that The Double is a creepy film, but one that didn't work for me and one I don't plan on revisiting because like the main character in The Double I felt completely alienated in this dystopian world.

The film introduces us to Simon (Jesse Eisenberg), a timid and shy young man who seems to live his life unperceived by everyone else. Simon always tries to please those around him and is very submissive despite everyone's indifference towards him. He's been working at a government agency for the past 7 years, and despite having some great ideas, no one ever pays attention to him. He is in love with one of his coworkers, Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), who he is too shy to speak to. He always looks for an excuse to visit her at the printing room, but he never finds the courage to ask her out. She is also kind of a lonely and strange girl herself, and Simon often finds himself watching her through a telescope from his apartment. Simon's life turns around when one day his boss, Mr. Papadopoulos (Wallace Shawn), introduces a new coworker named James who is physically identical to him, but with a complete opposite personality. Everyone likes James, and no one even seems to notice he looks exactly like Simon because they don't even conceive of his existence. James is so outgoing he has no trouble getting his boss's attention and seducing women. James befriends Simon but ends up using his ideas to impress Mr. Papadopoulos and seduce Hannah. All of Simon's dreams and hopes are shattered by James who is taking over everything he's passionate about, but was always afraid to take a stand for.

The premise seems interesting, but the way it was presented is what didn't work for me. Ayoade created such a unique dystopian and bleak world that it made me feel dull and alienated. I didn't really care for the characters in this film, despite the wonderful dual performance from Jesse Eisenberg. He once again proves he's a talented actor and carries this film. Mia Wasikowska is also wonderful and plays alongside Eisenberg really well. The performances were strong, I had no problem with them, but what I didn't enjoy were the characters they were playing and the way the film was narrated. The film tries to explore our senses, but all it did for me was make me feel indifferent towards it the same way Simon's coworkers felt towards him. It's a quirky film with a lot of quirky sounds and musical score that just didn't work for me the same way it did for most audiences.


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