So, I’ve completely neglected watching movies. I just stumbled into the theater with my favorite friend- who looks like a Jewish vampire in the best possible combination of features- into this movie, Enemy. Not that I had any idea what it was about, or that it’s won a lot of awards or that people have already been completely blowing their minds from this film for almost a year, I just thought I was going to watch another casual adventure movie and have a nice quiet time.
I was just standing in line getting my ticket, but Divergent wasn’t an option to us fun-loving angst-filled teens because it was much too popular of a flick for our kind, so my vampieresque friend who is “with it” has of course already seen Divergent.
So we settled for Enemy, something neither of us knew too much about.
We sat down in the theater, glancing at the Morgan Freeman filled trailers, I joked to my friend- “Ha, what if it changes our lives!”
I was so naive.
Apparently it came out in 2013, dubbed an erotic thriller and is directed by local maple-syrup drinking genius, Dennis Villeneuve.
He transformed a novel by Jose Saramago, that has a similar theme, but executed it in such a brilliant new out-look, using symbolism, layers and my favorite arachnids. The film ended giving my hopefullyatonepointsoonbestfriend director Denis Villeneuve a Canadian Screen Award for Best Director meanwhile it was also nominated for Best Picture, so that’s why it was out in my local movie theater.
So it had to be good.
Anyways, I’m sitting in the movie theater, and the movie starts.
Opening up with a scene from a confusing sex-show situation and spiders grasping a person’s attention in seconds. Within a series of frames, this movie was less of any fluff absent-minded pop-corn chewing relaxation and an abstract brain-game, my favorite thing in the entire world.
The movie creates suspense, keeps you on the edge of your seat, half the time you have to put together the pieces of what is happening and why, you end up getting sucked into this vicious cycle of thinking you understand and then being utterly confused again. Non-nonsensical, borderline inhumane personalities, very routine thoughts, a simple boring life, mixed it with blind citizen control by an authoritative society: sift it all together for a beautiful mix in a clever way. That you cannot even comprehend when watching.
Don’t go into this movie thinking you’ll be ahead of what the characters know and have wisdom about the plot, just when you think you get it- something else happens seemingly without motivation.
Also, I know nothing about cinematography, but the beautiful brown/gold colors really kept my eyes glued to the screen. It made the life look so hauntingly, sneeringly mundane.
Instead of describing the plot, where people can actually just read about it on Wikipedia, I will just summarize my thoughts that I haven’t read on the internet yet:
As I’ve stated before, the movie effortlessly in the beginning builds of anxiety for the audience, and I felt my heart-racing at certain points without even knowing what the protagonist was doing. Who is he calling? What is he doing? What are these buildings? Why does Toronto look so devastatingly bland? It was a repeat of scenes, very typical to our own world but something just seems far from the ordinary at the same time. Brilliantly capturing this world where it’s close enough to home, but off-putting enough to make us think.
As I started to piece it together, I didn’t have enough time to take in all the strategically placed details of spider symbolism and corruption representation going on in the background- until I recapped it in my head, but I could slowly form the plot as it became evident to the audience.
However, at this moment- the spiders, the women in the beginning and these odd reactions to certain events were still not quite being pieced together.
Basically a teacher into talking about totalitarian governments, doesn’t do much aside from his girlfriend and lectures- is stumbled upon a breath-taking option to watch a movie where he discovers an actor that looks exactly like him. They end up meeting up and despite obvious surface difference, (like the replica is into the entertainment side of things and more of an angry, aggressive and rude person while the teacher is sensitive, nervous, and duller and poor) they are very similar in ways that aren’t as concrete.
But nothing about the movie is absolute, the fact is the movie displays the central irony of this teacher that knows such much about being controlled by a higher ruling power, but is blinded by the fact that that same poison is incredibly present in his society. The fact that he has an exact replica of himself existing proves yet he was pre-occupied with his life to open his eyes. Throughout the movie there is spider symbolism, and my theory is that it reprints this structure; the pressure the society has built for these citizens to be powerless against them. The way it creeps over the obvious city and is an effortless metaphor of how destructive the world’s puppet-masters have become.
At the end of the movie, when the wife of the so-called “evil” twin transformed into a spider, I thought to myself “Wtf, but kind of cool.”
Because he smiles watching these events, knowingly. Because the little 8 legged creature symbolizes the utmost uncertainty that has been infringed on the people co-existing with authorities turbulence, his willingness to accept the fact that someone just turned into a spider shows a few things.
As if he agrees to living in this world where he doesn’t recognize the suppression thrives inside the minds, the families and the lives of the people existing here. And just like the cover photo for this movie suggests, the spider, the gloom sepia city is also in his mind, he becomes his controlled world filled with questions he didn’t know he had, immortalized and brainwashed into oblivion, he smiles at seeing the spider- knowingly being converted into accepting the totalitarian society.
What a sick, sick movie.