Enemy: Intelligent and Gripping

The psychological thriller film, Enemy was released in 2013 and earned numerous awards for its excellent direction and the actors’ performances. Of course, Director Denis Villeneuve deserves all credit for the creation of the film and the excellent performance he manages to get out of his actors.

A French-Canadian writer and film maker, Villeneuve is celebrated for having won three Genie Awards for Best Director. The first was in 2001 for his film Maelstrom, while his second and third awards were for Polytechnique and Incendies in 2010 and 2011, respectively. All these films also won the award for Best Picture.
His latest directorial venture was the film Enemy. Enemy was created and directed between the making of Villeneuve’s two other excellent films, Oscar nominated Incendies and Academy Award winner Prisoners.

Released at the Toronto International Film Festival, in 2013, the movie has received positive responses from audiences and critics, and even though the plot may be confusing and bewildering, the story unfolds in an eerily well-designed manner. Adapted from the novel The Double, written by José Saramago, the movie has bagged five Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Director, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Picture. The 2014 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards nominated Enemy as the Best Canadian Film of the Year.

Villeneuve has always had a penchant for excellence. His creation of this double-themed film is one of the best creations in the history of film-making. While filming Enemy, Villeneuve definitely did his homework and has even managed to surpass his previous works in several ways. The story is gripping and every aspect has been carefully designed. At first, one may be totally at sea, thanks to the various intricacies of the storyline. But if the film is carefully analyzed, you will see what a beautiful director Villeneuve is and will surely agree on him having rightfully received all those awards.

Enemy is a mesmerizing story about a history professor, Adam Bell, who leads a simple yet complicated life with his girlfriend Mary. He happens to come across an actor named Anthony Claire, who looks exactly like him. The story does not flow in a smooth manner as most movies do. So there is no transitional element that truly gels one scene to another. In spite of this, each scene is carefully placed in its rightful position. This position may not be chronological and therefore, each occurrence must be looked at separately. If one fails to grasp this nuance, confusion is bound to reign!

While Villeneuve gets his audience to believe that the two identical characters in the movie, Adam and Anthony, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, are two different people; they are actually the same. This can be easily understood when they discuss their identical features right down to a scar on the chest. The truth is that Adam is actually experiencing the condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder, a favorite topic in the film fraternity. And in the movie, it is the main protagonist’s girlfriend who realizes this when she notices the sudden change in his behavior.

The film is so enthralling that you wouldn’t lose your focus for even a moment, for fear that you may miss out on something important. That’s the flair Villeneuve uses in his films to get his audiences’ undivided attention.

In the film’s poster and well as in the film, Villeneuve uses the image of a spider now and then. Its significance is unknown as there is nothing explained about the spider anytime during the movie. This metaphorical use of spiders in the film gets audiences to react, think and analyze the film differently.

Some believe that the spider signifies Adam’s mental conflict with the thought of commitment to his girlfriend. In some spider species the males are known to sacrifice themselves during copulation, while some female spiders kill the male spiders even before mating has occurred. Adam’s relationship with his girlfriend Mary is strenuous and could be compared to that of the spiders’.

This mind thrilling film grossed a colossal $3.4 million worldwide. With music by film score composers Daniel Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, the film’s soundtrack is as extraordinary as the film itself, giving this project a well-rounded finish that is certainly worth a watch!