There are movies that come along that are sometime hard to figure out from the trailers. These are ones that if handled right deliver some of the most interesting and thought provoking pieces of cinema. Jake Gyllenhaal’s latest, Enemy is one of those films, but does it have everything needed to make it stand out or will it get lost in its own strangeness?
Enemy follows a solitary college professor who discovers a man in a film that looks exactly like him. He becomes obsessed with finding him, but once they meet their worlds collide changing everything they both knew and those around them. This is one of those films that starts out with a fairly strange opening, but then seemingly becomes a bit more normal. As it progresses the obsession with him finding his look takes him on an emotional journey that eventually brings more chaos to his world instead of the happiness he was hoping for. The film is pretty slow paced and while it is intriguing it never really offers anything that feels like a worthwhile payoff. Gyllenhaal gives a great dual performance making the film work way better than it might otherwise, but there is so many moments that just seem to be there with no direction it is hard to follow at times. This both helps and hurts the film as those not willing to let the strangeness of it all do its thing will not let it unfold like it needs to, but those with the more open mind will find a truly original thought provoking film that is pretty cool. There are a couple of moments that could have been fleshed out a bit better, but it appears to be this way on purpose to allow the viewer to come to some of their own conclusions, most notably the ending to the film.
This is one of those films that will affect everyone a bit differently which is the makings of a successful film. This is the Gyllenhaal show all the way and he is great in it and worth checking out for him alone. With all the mind numbing usual nonsense released these days it is cool to see something like this still get made. If you like great thought provoking cinema then give this film a chance and come to your own conclusion.