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Movie Review Monday: Enemy
Writer: José Saramago, Javier Gullón
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon
This movie was requested for me to review and I am a bit speechless. The final scene leaves you with a permanent look of concern and a – “what did I just watch?” furrowed brow or dropped jaw. It’s absolutely the type to take over your mind and force you to dwell into your interpretation until the story comes together. Or better yet, the film you watch with your friends and spend the entire car ride home theorizing about what happened and why.
Enemy is a movie for the investigative audience members. One you have to keep your eyes open to the entire time or else you might miss something important or symbolic. Just the amount of time the writers and director must have taken for this to finish as a flawless story, alone, makes it worthy of a watch.
I will say, that at certain points it moved a little slow. The main conflict is a struggle in what you believe/understand to be true and with that, are hints subtly directing you towards reality. While this is going on, there were some moments when I thought “if (one possibility) is true… so what?” to the point where I couldn’t see a climax that would grab my interest. Nevertheless, my theory was leaning towards the opposing outcome. For the most part, you are still intrigued and need to watch to the end to find out if your speculations are correct.
After my Nightcrawler review, you will remember that I think Jake Gyllenhaal is a great, versatile actor. He proves that to be true again in this title. He is conflicted in such a believable way that you begin to recognize yourself becoming anxious alongside him. The acting of the main women were also very impressive (Sarah Gadon and Mélanie Laurent). Their sensitivity was heightened, and again, left you truly in an atmosphere of distress. It wasn’t until Sarah Gadon took the screen that I really became invested into the characters and cared what the results were.
I consider myself to have fairly decent understanding of complicated movies (as long as I’m not bored of them or daydreaming) and it frustrated me that I couldn’t quite figure out one of the symbols in this one. I was able to identify the truth of the major question but didn’t connect the dots with one recurring motif. I will tell you now to lock your eyes on the screen and remember not a minute of this movie has gone to waste. It all has meaning. Once you have watched the film and if you still have questions like I did, you can check out this very well spoken analysis:
Once I grasped the entire concept of the film is when I accepted that it was actually quite clever. It is an insightful film and delves into the deep waters of personal issues. It keeps you on your toes of what is right, wrong, real or not. A unique and mysterious look into what may commonly be problematic for many. It’s a brain game of a movie that will keep you thinking. I don’t know if this movie is one I would recommend or not; but I will say – if you are watching Enemy with impatience, it could be a little dull and you may consider the ending unsatisfying. But if you have some time, it is one you might enjoy by buckling in and being attentive.