Enemy is unsettling from start to finish, a terrific thriller with a bold vision from Denis Villeneuve. The movie follows Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal), a history teacher whose life is filled with repetition and mundanity. He lectures about totalitarian rule and living in an oppressive society, talking about dictators like Hitler and how they take away culture from their people. Adam doesn’t like movies or carry any extracurricular activities, but when a co-worker suggests a movie, he rents the film and sees what the fuss is about. Lo and behold, he sees an actor who looks exactly like him named Anthony. He sets out to meet this man and hopefully find something new in his life. Villeneuve’s film is one of the most unsettling features I’ve seen in years, carrying a heavily surrealist tone and relying on darkness and mood. I cannot recall the last time a film experience was as genuinely unpredictable as the one here, although that creates a stretch of believability at times. I don’t think the film is meant to be fully understood, though, with a recurring motif of a spider standing as a resounding metaphor for the message of the film. To reveal that would be an ultimate spoiler, and even for those who have seen the film they probably think it has a different meaning. And I’ll be damned if I see a more exciting, engaging, and terrifying ending all year.
Grade:★★★★ (out of 5)