My Top 25 Films

21. Enemy (2013)

Enemy pic 2.

Chaos is order yet undeciphered.”

Well, well. I realise this might be a bit of a surprise, for such a recent film to appear on my list above older classics that I have had more years to digest. How should I justify placing Enemy, a 2013 Canadian film that had an extremely limited theatrical release and that I only stumbled upon largely by chance, above a film from my childhood in Jason and the Argonauts, for example? The reason is very simple: I enjoyed Enemy more. This is one of three films I’ve seen released in the past two years that I felt justified its inclusion among my absolute favourites, and in time may even rise higher. Those other two? You’ll see.

To put it simply, Enemy is a rather unconventional, curious movie. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal (in what represents two of his best performances) as two very different but physically identical characters, it is a film about identity, infidelity, repetition, and the subconscious. Having recently read the novel on which it is loosely based, The Double by Jose Saramago, I think the two, while sharing some themes, have unique individual merits.

This is certainly an adaptation that more than holds its own alongside the source material. Much of the credit for that belongs to director Denis Villeneuve, whose name you may know from 2013’s Prisoners, which also starred Gyllenhaal alongside Hugh Jackman. He’s reportedly attached to direct an upcoming sequel to Blade Runner as well, so if you don’t know him yet, I think you soon will… though I have a feeling Enemy might just turn out to be his masterpiece.


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