*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* During this Oscar season I have forced myself to look back. This looking back has extended itself to many films I didn't get a chance to completely see last year. One of those is Enemy. Man, I am glad I saw this piece of art.
Let's be incredibly blunt here for a second. Few of you will enjoy this film. Those of you that will, might not even like it that much. Then there will be a minority of you who will find this film to be one of the most delightfully weird, and complex movies you've ever seen in your life; and upon second thought you'll begin to realize it is one of the most profound as well.
Enemy, without a doubt (though, well, maybe a little bit. Sorry, I almost always have doubt.), is a masterpiece. Here is one of the most polarizing movies you'll ever see.
I can't go in depth. I wish I could, I really do; but sometimes in life ignorance is bliss, so I won't spoil much in this mind-bender. What I can provide, is a vague synopsis. One day, Jake Gyllenhaal's character Adam finds that within his universe there appears to be a man that looks exactly, exactly like him. That is where our creepy thriller, mystery, suspense-filled drama begins.
Some critics, and audience alike are poo-pooing on this film for its dire and moody tone, that pervades the entirety of this dark piece of art. I could understand this distaste, and even hatred, if Enemy didn't have a point; BUT it does! Underneath this grim complicated picture's exterior lies one of the most intricately wound pieces of clockwork one could ever find. I won't say how this tightly wound machine is run, but sufficient to say, it does! Trust me! To prove my point I will leave a spoiler analysis by the eminently talented Chris Stuckmann at the end of my review (which I highly suggest watching AFTER you see the film).
It is this dark and pervading tone that gives Enemy its unique and beautifully somber style. We can't overlook the cinematography and music, for they are to blame for the beauty of the intelligent architecture. I would say more, but most of this is simply self-evident when watching the film.
This brilliant design is one of few chief reasons why Enemy is a masterpiece. Another reason is the acting. Let me get this out of the way, Jake Gyllenhaal is a phenomenal actor. That being said, his performance is not Oscar Worthy in Enemy simply because he doesn't have enough moments of emotionally diversity to showcase, as much as say like his performance in Nightcrawler does. The tone of Enemy does that for him. This out of the way, holy cow, he is really freakin' good. He is somehow able to not only create one completely compelling and believable persona, but another as well. I won't go on to describe this duality, because this is one of the joys of seeing the film.
Who really shines here - even beyond possibly Gyllenhaal - is a young, beautiful actress by the name of Sarah Gadon. Her performance is beyond extraordinary. With what little screen time, and little lines she does have, she is able to completely and utterly shine with a depth uncommon in her peers. Her eyes do the talking, instead of her mouth, which is more than just saying something. It shows master class workmanship. This type of talent hopefully doesn't becomes overlooked, as I hope she has many more promising projects to come down the road.
Someday I hope that Enemy will be recognized for what it is. It is one of the most thought provoking and real films ever to have such a complicated and intricate mystery - an enigma of something that pervades the ideology of our entire culture. This depth may just stay with you long after the film ends. Don't get me wrong, this film is not lovable. The majority of you will probably not even it like it that much, evidenced by audiences scores on other sites. Though, as I have been saying, there is a few of you who will understand, appreciate and love this form of dark, grimy, emotionally complicated art. It is to those readers that I whole-heartedly recommend Enemy as a perfectly dark, late night treat.
Personal Preference: 4.5/5
Critical Analysis: 5/5