19 October 2021

Denis Villeneuve's Enemy (2013)

(At the time of writing I've seen five films directed by the Québéquois Denis Villeneuve, and although they are all different from each other they all involve similar plot elements: an incident triggering existential crisis, and a change of psychic state at or towards the end. For this reason I include this paragraph in parenthesis in each of my comments on the five films.)

Denis Villeneuve's first English language feature. Although I found this film complex and at times enthralling, I didn't see that it in any way came close to the brilliance of Incendies: it seems far too concerned with its own importance, too eager to come within the scope of David Lynch, and not as inventive as Maelström, to which Villeneuve himself has compared it. We have two Jake Gyllenhaals with slightly different names but who appear to be identical twins apart from their rather different personalities (and a ring mark on the finger). This is a film of quest, of lust, of hatred, fascination, and a fatal car crash. Or is it about one person with a split personality? And what does the spider have to say about this? What would it have said if it were a fish?

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