Leon van Nierop
1 minute read
28 Apr 2015
2:30 pm

Twisted twin tale

Leon van Nierop

I pity the poor distributor who has to publicise this film, as it has literally nothing going for it, except perhaps Jake Gyllenhaal.

The next problem is the poor viewer who will glance at the synopsis and the cast and then rush off to see it, only to stumble out of the cinema dazed and confused – and not in the inspiring way Richard Linklater confused us in Dazed and Confused in 1993.

An Enemy was released in 2013, but nobody wanted to touch it. The problem is if a writer works with such a far-fetched idea and adds a bit of surrealism, the film can get bogged down by trying to be too weird.

Not that all films need to be categorised. But what exactly is this one trying to be? A vehicle for the incredible Mr Gyllenhaal, who manages to give an impressive performance? A dark comedy? Did it try to imitate the great Krzysztof Kieslowski’s masterpiece The Double Life of Veronique (1991)?

The story sounds relatively simple. A man notices his twin in a film. He is sure the man is not necessarily his twin, but him. And so starts a bizarre story with more twists and turns than a taxi during load-shedding weaving in and out of gridlocked traffic. An Enemy also has the strangest and most bizarre ending since … well, I don’t know when. There

is nothing to compare it to. Except perhaps Kafka’s novel, Metamorphosis.

It is your choice whether or not you subject yourself to it.

But Gyllenhaal is great. That’s all the movie has going for it.