From the directorial mind of Richard Ayoade comes a trippy Wes Anderson-esque wonderland. After watching Submarine I was inspired to go in to film-making myself, it is one of the five films that got me interested in the process to begin with so as you can imagine I was looking forward to Ayoade’s new flick “The Double” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska (also seemingly the whole cast of Submarine). To be honest, I am in two minds about how I feel about The Double.
Although darker than Submarine, The Double holds a similar sense of humour whilst utilizing different filming techniques to give the film a fresh and intriguing nature. The Double is about Simon, a man who is overlooked his whole life by everyone in it, no one at work remembers him, the woman of his dreams doesn’t even talk to him and even his own mother classes him as “a strange boy”. One day a new employee turns up, James…someone who just happens to look EXACTLY like Simon. Simon freaks out, they have a talk and well, to sum it up James starts to take Simon’s life over.
This film is like a sort of Wes Andersony nightmare (not a bad style of nightmare). The style reminiscent of Anderson’s work, but with use of much darker colours and incredible use of light. I have to say that the cinematography really saved this film for me, it’s not that it was a bad film, it just felt a bit empty. An interesting concept with a good cast and decent Ayoade humour should have worked really well, but if I am honest it just got a bit boring. Normally darker films are right up my alley, but that’s generally because they are better written than the lighter stuff, but I have to admit that Submarine’s writing was much better.
Something to commend the film for (and one of the reasons I actually love it) is the fact that it is never stated or hinted at where they are from and what time period they are in. All the actors keep their own accents and the only technology in the film are printers and computers which perhaps show that it was set in the past, but we can’t know for certain which is why it’s so brilliant.
The acting from Jesse Eisenberg is fantastic, this project really shows off his range of acting talents due to him playing two polar opposite characters in the film and in my opinion he really shined, in fact it is my favourite performance of his to date. Mia Wasikowska really fits in to the classic Ayoade character acting pool which is great and actually showed a different side to her as an actress which is quite nice. All in all to generalise the acting in the film it was just as you would expect from an Ayoade film.
Lighting. I want to mention it again because the use of it in this film was somewhat chilling in a strangely comforting sense. This is an incredibly dark film with most of the lighting being a sort of dark orange or red and little of it, but the way it was used to set a scene really impressed me. Just the little things like complete darkness other than a lamp to show how the character is feeling or the red lighting to represent lust and anger. As stated above, the cinematography is incredible. I would say the film is worth a watch just for the cinematography alone.
So I guess my displeasure with the film comes straight down to the writing. I feel like everything happened too fast. I didn’t really get to know the characters before something bad happened to them, so I had no time to feel sorry or worried for them. Naturally you would think I would feel for the guy getting his life stolen or the girl who is so upset she tries to commit suicide, but to be honest it actually didn’t bother me in the slightest and that really takes away from a film of this nature.
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