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The film Enemy is based on Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José de Sousa Saramago's (1922-2010) 2002 novel, O Homem Duplicado, published in English as The Double in 2004. This is the second big screen Canadian co-production adapted from a Saramago book, after Blindness (2008). Enemy received the most nominations at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, winning Toronto's Sarah Gadon Best Supporting Actress and Villeneuve his fourth Best Achievement in Direction. The film also won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Original Score awards from the Academy. It's safe to say this flick's been a fairly big deal long before its public theatrical release.
It deserves to be a big deal.
Enemy is an eerily disturbing
and utterly fascinating cinematic masterpiece. From its intense
undercurrent of impending doom to its sickly, life-drained landscape,
this is one of the most exquisite thrillers I've seen in years.
It's not an easy one to watch, though. Apart from the film's
steady stream of misogynistic imagery, it demands that a paying
audience interprets what unfolds without much guidance. Here
be dream sequences and visual metaphors, all mysterious and thinky.
Is this a linear story or not? It's definitely literate, but
how much is literal? Is Gyllenhaal really portraying two people?
Are all of the characters real within this movie's world? Are
some of them imagined? Are they memories? Re-imagined memories?
What's with that big giant spider?! Javier Gullón's wonderfully
coy screenplay poses many questions regarding who Gyllenhaal's
Adam and Anthony are and what happens to them here. The best
part is that the script's intellectual prowess remains consistent
'til the closing credits, dropping sly hints and subtle clues
throughout, and presenting a final scene so incredibly bizarre
that you can't help but want to sit through the entire picture
again. Enemy lives with you long after leaving the movie theatre.
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