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'Enemy' weaves a web of manipulation

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Dreams of spiders are rather common. These eight-legged creatures spin webs to catch their prey. As such, spiders are often associated with manipulation. Depending on the dream, the arachnid may represent to the dreamer that they are being manipulated or in turn, the manipulator.

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"Enemy", the disturbing psychological thriller now available on Blu Ray or DVD, deals with spiders as metaphor to disconcerting effect. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the dual roles. One a boring history professor who dreams of those creepy crawlers, the other an actor that appears to be his exact double. Not only in looks and voice but, also in where they reside in downtown Toronto. Though, that's were the similarities end.

Adam trudges through life. Introverted, living in a shabby apartment. The only time he does anything other than read seems to be when he sleeps with his sometimes partner, Mary (Melanie Laurent, "Inglorious Basterds"), when she comes over to visit. Of course, she leaves soon after they've finished. Anthony, on the other hand zips by on his motorcycle, resides in an upscale apartment and is in a committed relationship with his pregnant girlfriend, Helen (Sarah Gadon, "Maps to the Stars").

That all changes when Adam is told by a colleague that he has seen someone that looks suspiciously like him and that he should check out the local Video store. After watching a film featuring his doppelgänger, he to starts to believe there is some kind of connection between them both. Adam reaches out first by phone, then by stalking his look-alike. Anthony, who is initially annoyed by the situation, later relents and they agree to meet. It's a situation that swerves quickly out of control, with both men getting stuck in each others' lives and forced into a finale that sneaks up on the viewer to shock and confuse.

With its deliberate atmosphere, unsettling score and crafty storytelling, Canadian Director Denis Villeneuve has produced an uncompromising work that is chilling. Telling a transfixed audience that there's something definitely going on under the surface. However, putting everything together proves to be a difficult task. Let's say there's plenty of room for different interpretations. All in all, "Enemy" weaves a web that will wrap up those that are willing to take the bait.


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