Noir outing delves into a twisted mind

Published Thu, Apr 10, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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WEIRD doesn't begin to describe Enemy, indie auteur Denis Villeneuve's mind-bending exploration into the depths of a man's shattered psyche. Viewers who enjoy the occasional what-just-happened cinematic moment will have sufficient material for post-movie discussion here - and chances are they still won't be able to figure the whole thing out.

Director Villeneuve, who portrayed the desperate lengths to which an ordinary man would go to save a loved one in the disturbing thriller Prisoners (2013), pulls out all the psychological stops in his unconventional new film, based on the novel The Double by Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago. This time, it's about the mysteries of a fragile mind and the games that play out inside our minds as well. It's probably worth emphasising that this is the sort of movie that's more suited to film festivals than your local multiplex.

Heavily bearded and permanently dishevelled college professor Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) leads a life that's been dulled by the daily grind of history lectures to his students, punctuated by bouts of rough sex at night with his girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent). It's a pattern that repeats itself until his curiosity is aroused one evening when he watches a rental DVD and spots a minor character that looks exactly like him.

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