When I went into Enemy, I knew a few things. I knew I was going to enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance, and I knew that I was going to see a very meaningful movie. I also knew it wouldn’t be easy to understand, and it would have hidden meanings. What I didn’t know, was that this movie is based on José Saramago’s novel, and that it has one of scariest jump scares I have ever encountered.
The first time I encountered José Saramago was his novel Blindness, and its movie adaptation with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Now, I didn’t get into the plot that much, but I enjoyed the interesting writing style this man had, he didn’t like to write traditional dialogs. And the idea behind Blindness was also interesting, so I was pleasant surprised when I found out that Saramago was behind the novel Enemy is based on. And I was even more thrilled to realize that Denis Villeneuve was the director because I saw Sicario last year, and it was brilliant.
The story follows a man, who finds out that he has a double, after seeing him in a movie, and he starts to look for him out of curiosity. Both men, Adam and Anthony (Jake Gyllenhaal), have their flaws and when they meet, these flaws come to the surface. One of them is married with a kid on the way, the other has a French girlfriend and a boring job as a teacher. But when their similarities become eerie, truth slowly starts to surface, and the final act of the movie flips everything on its head.
My conclusion of Enemy is simple – it requires more viewings than one, because it has little Easter eggs hidden among itself, and you wouldn’t know to notice them watching it for the first time. I went with the easier option of watching Chris Stuckman’s video where he explains the meaning behind Enemy, and it cleared things up for me immensely. And the thing is, even though the movie needs interpretation, the director himself has stated that there’s just one way to look at it. And frankly, I sort of like the idea of symbolism being viewed one way and one way only. And even after watching the explanation video, I’m still curios to watch Enemy again, because now I know what to look out for, I know what the spiders mean, and I will notice the subtle changes in both characters.
My biggest compliment for Enemy is not only for its directing, which makes me excited for the Blade Runner’s sequel, but also for the acting by Jake Gyllenhaal. He for me, can do it all because he has pretty much done it all. He has been the love interest, he has pumped himself big to be a boxer and he is really good in dramatic roles like The Nightcrawler and Enemy. So I’m really excited to see where his career is taking him and what kind of mind games his characters might play next.
So all in all, Enemy was an interesting experience, and I can’t wait to go back to it someday, to see what I missed, and what small elements will mean something more to me now that I understand the movie better. Also, I really love those types of movies that play with your mind, like, those are awesome movies!