“… a beautiful film that is both accessible and complex…”
I want to start this review by urging you not to read it. I understand that it is counterintuitive to what I should be doing, but here me out. Enemy is a movie that I think every should experience, and to experience this film you have to go in completely blind. I’m not necessarily going to be discussing spoilers in this review, but trust me when I say that you should go into it completely blind. For those of you who have seen the movie, or those of you who don’t give a shit about what I say (I mean, I am just some guy on the internet), my review of Enemy will follow this paragraph.
Enemy is a very special movie to me. The first time I watched it I was completely entranced. Then, a couple of days later, I was flipping through television channels and I saw that it was playing. I figured that I would watch a few minutes of it because for some reason I couldn’t get it out of my head. I sat through the entire film again, just as captivated as I was the first time. And it was the same story when I watched it again tonight; I could not take my eyes off the screen. For those of you who don’t know (and if you don’t know, please go and watch it right now), Enemy is a film about Adam Bell, a History teacher who spots an actor in a film that looks just like him. This causes Adam to reach out to this actor, and that sets of the events of the film. I’m not going to outline those events because they would be impossible to put into words.
What I love so much about Enemy is the fact that it is so open to interpretation. The film is so deep, and yet it doesn’t beat you over the head with it. Depending on how much work you want to put into studying the film (or just looking up a YouTube video explaining it) Enemy is revealed to be much more than you see on the surface. But you don’t have to dig to get the ‘true’ message, because you can get whatever you want out of it. And, to me at least, that is the mark of fantastic art. The film straddles the line of being too obvious, and too cryptic, beautifully. If you pay attention, there film is absolutely filthy with hints and “easter eggs” that will point you in the direction of understanding some of the more complex themes in the film. Now I understand that this film won’t be for everyone. Hell, I don’t think there is a movie that is for everyone except for maybe The Avengers, a lot of people seemed to love that one. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that this film is special to me because of the fact that you can think about it and draw thousands of different conclusions in your head and have all of them work. Because the film is so well crafted, and also so unlike anything I had ever seen at the same time. What I’m trying to say is I’m not trying to convince you that this movie is good, but rather this is more of a love letter to it.
To move on to less obscure feelings, let’s talk about the acting. Jake Gyllenhaal is absolutely phenomenal in this film playing a man who really just wants to find himself. Jake Gyllenhaal is also great in this film. Sarah Gordon as Helen is pretty fucking great. The emotion she achieves in most of her scenes is so real and yet not over the top. Mélanie Laurent also has great emotion in her performance, although she doesn’t have as many memorable scenes as any of the other actors. The direction of Enemy is absolutely breathtaking. The scenery and camera angles make the film feel so tight and confining. The colour palate is also astounding as it makes the film feel warm, but at the same time very bleak. And the music is practically it’s own character. The subtlety, yet power that it brings is absolutely amazing and the editing and music worked hand-in-hand on many occasions. Overall the film is masterfully done.
Well if you made it this far, I certainly hope that you have seen the movie before. If not, then I hope that I piqued your interest enough for you to check it out. Enemy is such a beautiful film that is both accessible and complex and I feel that everyone should give it a shot at least once.
I give Enemy an A