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Plot: A clerk in a government agency finds his unenviable life takes a turn for the horrific with the arrival of a new co-worker who is both his exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and seductive with women. Runtime: 93 mins Release Date: 04 Jan 2013
The Double is a must-see film. (by michael-themistocleous)
The Double is Richard Ayoade's sophomore film, following the brilliantly done Submarine. Once again, adapting a story from a novel, this time Fyodor Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground, Ayoade showcases his skills as a director.Influences like Terry Gilliam, Steven Soderbergh, and directors of the German Expressionist era are evident as Ayoade tells the comedic, yet dark tale of Simon James played by Jesse Eisenberg , an introverted, shy, and unlucky man whose life is flipped upside down with the arrival of his new coworker, James Simon also played by Eisenberg , who is the <more>
exact opposite of him, charismatic, charming, and confident. The Double jumps right into the action; effectively using Eisenberg is the dueling roles. His witty performance is incredible and never falls flat at any minute.Ayoade shows what an incredible talent he has, with an incredible rhythm to his films. It has the speed of a 1930s screwball comedy, but the charisma, the wit, and the story of something much deeper. The lighting and the sound give the film a 1920s German-vibe or a David Lynch edge to it. Ayoade also uses the same set of actors as Submarine, which is a delight as they are completely different characters and completely refreshing.The 93-minute story is exciting, fresh, and filled with great actors with a knock-out performance by Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska , a fair share of comedy and drama, and an interesting plot. Ayoade proves he is certainly a director to look out for.While The Double most likely won't be a contender for any Oscars, it is certainly deserving of one or multiple for editing, sound editing and mixing, as well as nomination for score.The Double is a must-see film of 2014.Rating: A
First I must state there are other reviews that give far great insight and analysis of this movie than I feel capable of doing.In a surreal setting reminiscent of a post Orwellian 1984 world; the lead character Simon must deal with his real self, his imagined self, and how he sees his real self being constantly rejected by others and how his imagined self is welcomed and admired by others.Simon James & James Simon the same person come to cross purposes. To me Simon represented the real world he lives in and its self loathing. While James represents how that world perceives itself. <more>
Eventually the two will collide.This isn't a movie for the 'I want to be entertained crowd'. But if you love thinking about a movie while you watch and after its over, this is a sure winner!
"The Double" - creative and quite brilliant (by LifeVsArt)
I got to see "The Double" at the San Francisco Film Festival. I thought the film was brilliant - very creative. It's surreal, eccentric, humorous and sad it has a beautiful, unique look . I read somewhere a reviewer wrote, "whoever said nightmares couldn't also be funny". The film is kind of an existentialist, absurdist comedy, but also deadly serious. I was actually surprised that I also found it quite touching - I wasn't expecting that. Jesse Eisenberg does a great job in both roles, and the rest of the cast is flawless - Mia Wasikowska makes a luminous, <more>
lonely dream girl that Simon can't help feeling protective toward, but her character also has a darker side. I definitely want to see this again in it's theatrical run, and eventually get the blu-ray. For me this is going to be one of those multiple viewing movies, the kind I value the most.
Great soundtrack. That's an impression. Superb acting given the nature of both subject and a slippery theme. Another impression. Difficult material by writers such as Dostoyevsky are deeply profound, dark reading and, as such, are a challenge to adapt to screen. A reference to Brazil is appropriate at a glance given the setting and camera work. Emulation is not flattery, but observance. Direction, camera values are not nuance, but intentional. That this film was not commercially successful points out it's import. Ironic.That said, multiple viewings may bring even more appreciation of <more>
the story and how it is purveyed. Don't we all have someone inside that wishes to break the mold within which society cast us? Cut the strings, evolve back? Kudos to cast and crew as this theme is hard to evoke on film in a manner that engages both of us. Me and me.Not for every viewer, but certainly for those that can see inside and out with doubt. Bravo.
Richard Ayoade's phenomenal exploration of the self (by tcampbell935)
The Double begins on a bustling train. Simon James is tousled lightly from side to side as he tries to shut his eyes and relax. He is interrupted by a male voice who tells him he's in his spot. The rest of the carriage is empty, but Simon gets up anyway, and chooses to stand in the empty carriage. There is no other seat for him, he is not a person.We follow him on his misadventure through his bleak day to day life. We see him at a job where he is not recognised, where he has ideas but not a voice. And we see his love that he knows the words to win her over, but no courage. He knows what <more>
kind of man he wants to be, but he can't be. Because he is not a person.And then we find him. The Double. He is confident and loved by all. He doesn't know what work he is supposed to do but he is revered by bosses, irresistible to the opposite sex while being deceitful and unfaithful. He is everything Simon James wants to be, and he just so happens to be his exact duplicate.This cocky well liked version of Simon is bewildering and fascinating to him at first. The human boy to his Pinocchio. He lets him in to his life, helps him with the work he bluffed his way in to, divulges his hidden love to him. But she is not interested in Simon, she is interested in the fleshed out Double.Simon begins to lose pieces of himself to the Double, his love is interested in him, his work is taken credit for by him, his apartment is extorted from him. He loses what little self he had to begin with and his world comes crumbling down around him. Until eventually he finds himself rising beside a freshly dug grave, having been knocked out by a shovel blow to the head. His entire world has collapsed, and he is now ready to live. He has found himself, and he has an idea of how to claim back his self.An amazing return to force from Ayoade. His vision is impeccable in this gloom filled dystopian landscape, accented with harsh contrasts and use of shadow with engaging sound design. His use of foreshadowing and parallels only pull us into his world further, and bring us closer to his theme and titular world of The Double.
Bleak, poignant, hilarious work from Britain's next best auteur. (by Sergeant_Tibbs)
Previously known for his role as a caricature inept nerd in the tongue-in-cheek sitcom The IT Crowd, Richard Ayoade has since successfully cut his teeth as a unique voice in British filmmaking. 2011's Submarine is a bleak but joyful coming-of-age film, merging the deadpan quirk of Wes Anderson with the depths of Harold and Maude and his own brand of darkness. His followup film The Double has been frequently criticised for being derivative of its inspirations such as Terry Gilliam's Brazil. However, if you compare Submarine and The Double side by side, it's clear that Ayoade has <more>
carved his own style and has claimed an atmosphere of his own that is thoroughly intriguing and exciting. It's a type of filmmaking that's rare these days to be able to get the smooth result Ayoade has achieved. It's the making of a true auteur, he may not be interested in culture, but he's interested in universal existential questions.This special air is definitely achieved through the aesthetics above all. Immediately we are greeted to The Double with fractured lighting, hurriedly curving and flashing across Jesse Eisenberg's face. The film is dark, much darker than Submarine. Meticulously designed settings are deliberately lit to avoid concerning themselves with characters and instead focus on stalagmites of light that they incidentally pass through. It creates a distinct mood, one foot in cinema and one ostensibly in the nature of theatre. However, it mostly does things theatre can't do with dynamic editing and kinetic camera-work. Through the moodiness of its atmosphere comes a great sense of humour from the script that constantly had me rolling with laughter. Some jokes may be familiar, but its executed with such a sharp precision that it feels fresh. Even though the film may be bleak and blunt, its hilarity is what sticks.Eisenberg plays the droppelgangers with icy precision. It's rare to find a quiet, introverted character done right. I really related to his Simon with his hardly audible voice and hunched up hesitance. You don't find non-confrontational characters that melt into the wall like how Eisenberg portrays. There's such delicate subtleties in the way he carries himself so the two characters are easily distinguishable. However, the film can feel clumsy when it gets too busy with characters as Ayoade appears to panic and not know what to do with them all. Fortunately it swiftly focuses again and that's where it shines in the smaller interactions. I did find myself getting confused at some point between the two Eisenbergs but I guess that highlights the films point about identity confusion. What potential do we have? What are we bound by? How do we feel real? The Double is a poignant, thoughtful but thoroughly entertaining film. I'm already in line for the next outing from Ayoade.9/10
Lots of good stuff here, weighed down by some flaws (by runamokprods)
I've now seen two films by the talented Ayodade – the other being his coming of age 'Submarine" - and had a very similar reaction though they are miles apart in style, story and theme. First, this is a gifted film-maker, who doesn't want to play by the usual rules. Next, he knows how to get off to a great start, build a fascinating world, get you involved with his people, but third, he doesn't quite find ways to make his third acts pay off as interestingly or powerfully or emotionally as the first two-thirds of the film promise. In both films the focus drifts to less <more>
interesting elements or variations on the stories he's telling. And last, he needs to lighten up on the too-obvious 'homage's to his cinematic touchstones. In "Submarine" it was among others Wes Anderson and "Rushmore". Here the overbearing influences there are many are led by Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". There were a large number of design and character choices – while effective - that came close enough that I couldn't help but sit there making comparisons 'Hey, there's Wallace Shawn doing Ian Holm' . And it starts to approach that fine line between inspiration and plagiarism.That said, there's a lot to like here. The photography is often gorgeous. Jessie Eisenberg does a terrific job in a tough double role – a meek office worker who is suddenly faced with another employee who looks exactly like him. But the new guy has a brash, self-confident personality, everyone loves him, and no one else seems to notice the two are physically exactly alike, right down to their clothes. This raises interesting questions about personality, perception and reality. Is "James Simon" the cool one merely a psychological projection of the nerd, "Simon James"? But if that's the case, why does everyone else interact with both, together and separately? Is it that Simon is the only one who thinks they look alike? i.e. is Simon projecting himself onto someone who – if we saw objectively – wouldn't even really look like him? Well, that would be an interesting idea, and a promising road for the film to explore, and it hints heavily at that possibility, only to simply drop and contradict it. And that's part of why this is two-thirds of a great film, not a whole one. In the end things play out in a way that has been foreshadowed from early on, and suddenly the film feels less deep, less challenging, more an exercise in cinematic playfulness than an exploration of deeper themes both personal and societal. The head trip becomes too literal, the conclusions too simple for the complex surreal reality we've come to acceptOn the plus side, the effects are terrific, and many of the best scenes in the film are Eisenberg talking to himself in one shot. A hell of an acting challenge as well . And the film has a dark sense of humor that keeps the Kafkaesque world and 'big themes' from becoming ponderous, Again, I just wish I had less often chuckled, but then thought 'hey, that just like the scene in 'Barton Fink ', or whatever . In any case I look forward to whatever Ayoade does next, but I hope he will find a way to finish as strong as he starts, and to be brave enough to trust his own very good sense of style, and not borrow quite so much from others.
This is a seriously weird and disturbing movie that initially looks like it's going to come across as a bit of a 21st Century downmarket version of Brazil. Our hero experiences a sequence of unsettling events, seemingly unconnected and apparently trivial to a degree, although clearly aiming to tee up some of the later action.The lighting, the sounds, the camera shots are all wonderfully done, setting a disturbing and unsettling atmosphere that gently but with increasing urgency begins to throw a blanket of latent claustrophobia across characters and happenings. We witness curious <more>
incidents and are left to guess their significance, our hero reaches out to the girl but is beaten to the jump by....who exactly? How much of what we see actually takes place is questionable. How much some of the latter scenes make sense even more so. Yet, as it twists and turns towards the denouement, I found myself gripped and engaged to an uncommon degree. It is a difficult movie as it winds up, no question, but I find the notion that anyone feeling suicidal needs warning before viewing as slightly hysterical.On the one hand, this is an easy film to describe, whether you reference the source material, or your talk about the doppleganger and what it might be like to find one has a double. Yet on the other hand, it's almost impossible to sum this up after one viewing, as there felt like there are so many little bits and pieces that suddenly reveal themselves to your eyes and ears. that you're forced to think about going back to sit back through it again. The question is, which one of you will go...?
Ayoade's second film is a confident follow-up to the promising Submarine. Jesse Eisenberg's office worker lacks confidence at work and with women. His double does not have that problem.Ayoade draws plenty of mannered comedy from the protagonist's embarrassment, and tremendous atmosphere from a meticulously shot and lit film. It reminded me of an early Coen Brothers film, or perhaps Jeunet & Caro. If the ending doesn't quite deliver on its promise, it's no great disappointment either. Eisenberg is excellent as both his trademark weed and his double, and the supporting <more>
cast are generally excellent. Recommended. Seen at the London Film Festival.