Distributor: Madman (Australia)
Enemy is the 2013 film by director Denis Villeneuve, he directed an incredible thriller that same year named Prisoners. Prisoners took me by surprise so the hype was building for his next film that he would release that same year, and yes it lives up to the hype. Enemy feels like a film that a director like David Crononberg would direct, the psychological and Sci Fi elements are mind bending. Enemy is a movie that makes you think, something very rare in the current film industry today; with most films serving the story to the audience on a plate. The film opening is very confusing, but it eventually all makes sense in time as we have a woman speaking on an answering machine. We then have a Anthony (or Adam?) enters a room with older men watching women striptease, a gold platter is revealed with a spider crawling out. The spider is then crushed by the stripper and there is a shot of a naked pregnant woman on a bed; at this point the audience will be questioning “what the hell is going on?’, but all is explained in good time.
The film ‘properly’ starts with us being introduced to Adam Bell, a professor of history at a University in Toronto. His lectures cover how history repeats itself and the tactics covered in history by leaders, once we see him outside of work, we discover he lives in a small apartment and repeats the same daily task. He also has sex with his girlfriend who sometimes runs out during the night, there appears to be a tension building in their relationship. While sitting in the university reading, a work associate recommends a movie for him to watch, one named ‘Where There's a Will There's a Way’. Adam always appearing down, buys the film and watches it late one night on his laptop. The movie haunts him, and in all honesty the fake movie is absolutely hilarious and a satire on hollywood films in general. Upon re watching the film he is shocked to discover that an extra in the background looks exactly like him. He is completely terrified and decides to do some investigating, he eventually finds out this doppelgänger is a one Anthony Claire (with actor alias Daniel Saint Claire).
After doing some investigation Adam manages to track down Anthony Claire’s talent agency where he is able to find his address by picking up a package adressed to him. When trying to contact him the situation becomes quite intense, as neither of them believe they are brothers until the finally agree to meet up. Anthony is very doubtful about the whole situation, it isn’t until his girlfriend see’s Adam then she believes the situation. There are so many twists and turns and all hell breaks loose, overall it’s a movie you have to see to be believed. It reminded myself very much of ‘Dead Ringers’ in looking behind the psychological aspect if you had a double and the dark nature of what they would do. Jake Gyllenhaal does an incredible job of playing two parts, with one messy, anxious and the other clean and more sophisticated and cleaner cut.
There is a lot of surrealist imagery and puzzle pieces, that creates a much deeper underlying meaning that we the viewers may ignore. There is a reoccurring idea of spiders; to the point where we see a giant transparent one floating over the city of Toronto (no spoilers, it’s on the poster). It is also a very erotic film, dealing with wanting to have something else you cannot get, in this case a woman from the other side. No doubt theres going to be a lot of viewers where enemy will go right over their head, with a shock ending I recommend audiences go in with an open mind and not expect a straight up Hollywood thriller, in a way it is almost art-house.
Madman brings us Enemy in its original aspect ratio of 2.35: 1 in 1080p, and it is a film that makes us of the entire frame. The image appears incredibly sharp with no signs of digital noise or grain. Enemy was shot digitally so this is really as clean of an image as you are expecting to see. Colour levels are very rich as they a drenched in the intentional yellow and orange cinematography, these really stand our in Adam's apartment level where black levels are deep and contrast nicely. The film feels like a dream with intentionally blurred backgrounds and extreme detail on facial closeups. The outdoor scenes are visually the most appealing with extreme clarity, shots of the entire Toronto landscape are very crisp with great detail in the distance. There does not appear to be any signs of compression, overall a fantastic transfer; it was made for Blu-Ray. Check out the gallery of screenshots below (make note these have been compressed and do not truly represent the 1080p image).
Madman presents the blu ray in a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, the films atmospheric score really does come to life when blasted on a 5.1 sound system. It is very eerie and at times draws you in deeply through the use of its dark orchestral score. The dialogue sounds very easy to understand and crisp. Scene where shouting gets involved has no peaking and maintains a constant quality.
Now this is where us Australians are very lucky, our local release from Madman has more extras than the Lionsgate release in the US. These extras appear to be exclusive to the Australian edition of the disc. We get very informative interviews that goes into discussing the films production and how they got involved with it.
Interviews with Jake Gyllenhaal,
Sarah Gadon and
director Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve's interview is extremely useful as he explains what the story is about and also how he wanted to get the rights to the novel, he choose 'The Double' over the other books he could have adapted. He explains his directing style and way of dealing with actors.
The actors/ Actress discuss the changing of the script and the emerging ideas that developed over time, they also give their interoperation of the story, working with the director and the characters they play. Isabella Rossellini's interview is quite essential to fans of the film as she gives her own unique interpretation of the films story. These interviews total 43 minutes.
One a quick note the US version does include a 'Lucid Dreams: The Making of Enemy', a 17 minute feature. But from what I have heard that documentary is very brief and does not cover the deeper meaning of the film. These 43 minutes of interviews are extremely in-depth and tower over the short making of. To fans of this film the Madman version appears to be the most complete and definitive version in the world; for our American readers if you are disappointed with the Liongates disc, import this local disc as you will not be disappointed.
We also get the theatrical trailer, which is interesting to see how they tried to market this film.
Overall Enemy is one of the best films of 2013, a mind mending nightmare that leaves you on the edge till the end. The video and Audio quality is perfect and we recieve a bunch of interviews exclusive to this release, making it the most definitive version of the film in the world.
Overall: 4.5/5 (Buy it!)
Buy the DVD or Blu-Ray direct from Madmans online store:
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