Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 22 March 2014 18:57

'Enemy' is intriguing with its challenge of traditional narrative + Video

'Enemy' is intriguing with its challenge of traditional narrative blogs.indiewire.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

About this Media...

In "Enemy's" opening minutes," Canadian director Denis Villeneuve signals that his film will pose a conundrum more than a story. Text on screen announces, "Chaos is order yet undeciphered." After a subsequent scene of some vague sexual display, the plot becomes more straightforward while remaining tantalizingly elusive. "Enemy" remains a film for viewers who like intriguing, but puzzling experiences.

First off, there are few principal actors of any consequence, and there isn't much dialogue among any of them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays two roles: Adam, a college history teacher, and Anthony, a movie actor of minor roles. Adam has a girlfriend who occasionally stays at his apartment; Anthony has a wife, six months pregnant. Adam's mother (Isabella Rossellini) interacts with him in one brief scene.

What drives Javier Gullón's adaptation of José Saramago's novel is Adam's brooding, obsessive pursuit of Anthony, a man who looks exactly like him, Adam realizes, when he spots Anthony in a film. They even have the same scar. After quoting in his history class Hegel's comment that "the greatest world events happen twice," Adam seems intent on embodying it in his life.

The unified, inspired art direction casts its own mesmerizing spell. Bathed in yellows and browns, claustrophobic interior locations restrict characters' movements and our ability to see clearly. Villeneuve also makes the most of Toronto's architecture that engulfs mere humans and throws our perspective off balance. Equally appropriate, even the public transportation wires look like spider webs, a metaphor pursued throughout the film.

The success or failure of "Enemy" rests for viewers on Jake Gyllenhaal's shoulders. I find him sufficiently persuasive as both Adam and Anthony to sustain this high wire act of second-guessing. But as with Villeneuve's "Prisoners" and "Incendies," no one should expect a conventional narrative. Villeneuve's unique perspective pleases me for his daring to resist pat answers and his insisting often on leaving me in an uncomfortable place.  At the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

7 users and 11923 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook