EnemyDirector: Denis Villeneuve
Canada, Spain |
History professor Adam leads a dull life. His intellectual activity is focused on preparing
his lessons (interestingly, they are about control, dictatorship and chaos) while the
relationship with his fiancée is limited to sporadic and not always welcome intercourse.
One day Adam watches a film absentmindedly. In the middle of the night he wakes up
transfixed by the realization that one of the actors looks exactly like him. When he
eventually meets his double, a struggling actor whose pregnant wife has a certain
similarity to his fiancée, their lives become entangled in a labyrinthine game of mirrors.
At the beginning of the film, Denis Villeneuve presents the epigram, “Chaos is merely
order waiting to be deciphered,' challenging the audience to find the key to this
spellbinding film. Who is “the enemy'? Is it the doppelgänger, or is it the fear of “The
Mother' (the tarantula which kills and devours its mate), that overwhelming force
which condemns men to lifelong sexual anxiety and literally splits Adam in two? The
illusory sense of control that mercenary sex gives to Adam/Anthony (symbolized by
the woman who kills a tarantula with her stiletto heel) is crushed when his dominating
mother appears (while a tarantula that invokes Louise Bourgeois’s Mum hangs from the
Toronto sky). The tarantula is the key.
With Enemy, Villeneuve delivers one of the most powerful explorations (like Dead
Ringers by his compatriot Cronenberg) of male fears and the desire for control.
Accompanied by the extraordinary cinematography of Nicolas Bolduc and the
outstanding performance of Jake Gyllenhaal, this film confirms him as one of the
strongest and most original voices of contemporary cinema.