What would happen if you found out you had a doppelganger? How would you maintain your grip on reality and your sense of identity just knowing that out there in the world, there’s somebody wandering around who looks exactly like you? And what if that person started getting closer and closer to encroaching upon your life? These are the central questions of psycho-thriller Enemy, the latest picture from Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneueve; with a loose March release date looming, the film has received a new, haunting, hypnotic trailer, which can be seen above.
Enemy is Villeneueve’s follow-up to last year’s very solid police procedural effort, Prisoners, though interestingly enough both movies enjoyed their world premieres in September during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. In point of fact, Villeneuve finished production on Enemy before he began shooting Prisoners; that means that this isn’t his first time working with leading man Jake Gyllenhaal. Given how well the pair work together, at least according to Prisoners, their re-teaming should be considered nothing but good news.
Here, Gyllenhaal steps into the dual roles of misplaced twins Adam Bell and Anthony St. Claire; the former makes his living as a high school history teacher, while the latter works as a screen actor. It’s through watching a rented movie that Adam finds out about Anthony, and naturally begins to stalk the man at his home. But nobody ever said that unexpectedly finding out about the existence of your clone is easy, and so the pair start subverting each others’ lives and interfering in their respective relationships.
Villeneueve’s narrative comes straight from Portuguese author José Saramago’s 2002 novel, The Double. Frankly, the story defies easy description, so expect the previous paragraph to do little justice to what actually happens within the film’s plot. With all of that said, though, Enemy looks pretty outstanding; it’s already received a lot of love coming out of TIFF, and if Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal can deliver on the creepy, unsettling, mind-bending promise of the teaser, then Enemy could well be one of 2014’s earliest must-sees.
One caveat: don’t conflate Enemy with The Double, Richard Ayoade’s adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella. It’s fitting, perhaps, that a pair of films about men meeting their lookalikes and contending with existential crises as a result should be so similar on the surface – they’re both even made in the psychological thriller mold – but the original texts go in different directions despite sharing roughly the same jumping-off point for their plots.
That probably won’t help viewers totally shake off that sensation of déjà vu, but Enemy should be able to distinguish itself once it begins its theatrical run in just a couple of months.
Enemy hits US theaters on March 14th, 2014.
Source: Yahoo! Movies