Combining the quirkiness of Wes Anderson, and the creative nature of Terry Gilliam, Richard Ayoade’s ‘The Double’ is both thought provoking and rather fantastic.
Presented in musky style cinematography (think David’s Finchers’s ‘Se7en’ and you’re on the right track), the film, adapted from Fyodor Postoevsky’s novel of the same title, follows Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg); a very un-noticeable, unlucky and shy clerk. His life becomes ultimately complex when James Simon (also Jesse Eisenberg), a new employee starts at his work. Completely identical, yet in terms of personality they are opposites, as James is confident; charming and everything that Simon is not.
Creating a disturbingly dark atmosphere with minimal light and technology, ‘The Double’ is ambitiously visual, pushing the complexity and surrealism of doppelgänger narratives. Usually a hard theme to evoke – Richard Ayoade succeeds immensely.
Holding almost the exact same premise as Enemy (Jake Gyllenhaal’s doppelgänger movie released a few months prior), ‘The Double’ is far darker, far comic, and oh so much fun to watch.
Co-starring Mia Wasikowska as well as various other cameo appearances throughout, the casting was exceptional and each, and by far Jesse Eisenberg’s strongest performance yet – proving why he was nominated for an Oscar back in 2010. Multiple viewings may be advised in order to gain the films full value.