DVD Review: 'Enemy'

By: Heather Seebach

"Chaos is order yet undeciphered." These are the fitting opening words of Enemy, a movie that toys with its audience right from the start and we don't even know we are being duped until it's too late. If you like easy films that give you all the answers, stay far away from this one but if you enjoy a challenge and a good mind-fuck, look no further! The last time Jake Gyllenhaal melted my brain like this was when 17-year-old Heather watched Donnie Darko for the first time.

In Enemy, Adam Bell (Gyllenhaal) is a glum history professor living in a crummy apartment with a girlfriend (Melanie Laurent) who occasionally comes over and has boring sex with him. While watching a film, Adam discovers he has an identical double living elsewhere as a bit-part actor. He sets out to meet his doppleganger but inadvertently becomes involved in a dangerous situation with the double Anthony (also played by Gyllenhaal) and his pregnant wife (Sarah Gadon).

As both Adam and Anthony, Jake Gyllenhaal is incredible. Impressive as the camera trickery is, their scenes together would not be believable without the actor's convincing portrayal. He gives each man different subtle traits, from the way they stand and talk to the steadiness of their hands! 

 Nothing is quite what it seems in this mind-bending thriller. Director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) has constructed a fascinating puzzle that will confuse you, anger you, and make you want to watch it again and again. The movie withholds information from the viewer which is simultaneously infuriating and addictive. You may find yourself noticing inconsistencies but they are in fact clues. This film is peppered with hints and red herrings. Just when you think you got it pinned and are ready to dismiss it as another cliched thriller, the film pulls the rug out from under you again. 

Slow tracking shots, nightmarish glimpses, and an oppressive score create a haunting atmosphere for this tricky tale about identity, duality, and repetition. Villenueve fully admits that his film is open to interpretation so be prepared for more questions than answers. This movie demands repeat viewings and will keep you engaged in long debates with your cinephile friends. Enemy is not always easy but it is a rewarding endeavor whether you solve its mysteries or not.

Enemy is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. I highly recommend you get this one! Follow the widgets below to get a copy! 

DVD bonus features on the DVD include "Lucid Dreams", a 17-minute making-of featurette that sheds a little light on the surreal film but mostly consoles you in the knowledge that it is meant to be so ambiguous. There is also discussion of how the dual Jake scenes were created and how the set design is littered with thematic clues about the film.

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