Over and over Gyllenhaal takes a step further into the self-created dark genre of his, he is way ahead of the game now.
Villeneuve is going in the other direction. Since he has always had a trippy idea to film it on screen. His vocab has to be coherent even if subtextual. And compared to other projects of his, I think this is completely opposite. The co-writer and director Denis Villeneuve is challenging both himself and his audience. And what is at cost here is the cast’s undisputed performance especially Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead, differentiating two personalities with nuanced ticks that could easily also be interpreted as a similarity. The film only tumbles when it drags the known and the unknown aspect of the storytelling by adding the love affair ingredient to this hotchpotch of melodrama.
It is to be understood clearly that maybe the writers felt the necessity on speaking the crux of the film, the rights issue and the identity crisis through clear metaphors as such. But in doing so, this analysation of non-insomniac or more accurately anti-insomniac case trips over its own obstacles. What or where then the film wins on, is purely on Villeneuve’s direction. His methods that are convincingly effective.
Take the scene where Jake Gyllenhaal follows Melanie Laurent’s character. Visually Villeneuve doesn’t hold back on expressing the idioms, thr grammar, the logistics that the film or particularly the characters follow. And it is similar to the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men in terms of the physicality that it adores. Yes, adores. This psychological horror drama loves to romanticize the physical acts to the best of its ability. Just think about it, even the antics, the turns and the leads of the film rely upon a physical act, either a preparation or a performance anxiety. Enemy is a meta film, if we flip the plot of the film to itself, it is its own doom, there is no escape.