The Double – A film review

I’m really sorry I’ve been away for so long. I was on vacation. Now that I’m back I’m rearing to get going once again. I’m definitely going to try and become much more regular.

TheDouble2013Poster

I’ve always been a sucker for Festival films. Though I personally haven’t been to any festivals, mostly due to the lack of a good one around, I hope to change that in the near future. The latest Festival film I watched, as the title will probably give away, was Richard Ayoade’s ‘The Double’. The Double is a fantastic example of the Avant Garde film genre that is I think slowly making a comeback.

The Double is a film about an entirely unimportant clerk whose life is turned upside by the arrival of his doppelganger. The doppelganger quickly befriends him and then slowly starts taking over his life. It’s the life of a nobody stolen from a sea of nobodies around. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as the clerk and his doppelganger and Mia Wasikowska as his love interest.

The first thing I noticed about the movie was the lack of ties in the office. Now the senior executives in Eisenberg’s office do wear ties and spiffy suits and they seam bent on making everyone wear the exact same thing. The clerks are not allowed to wear ties, maybe to make them feel inferior in the hierarchy. I believe the director, who is also the writer, is allegorically pointing out how senior execs would rather we all be robots who work without asking any questions. This is really highlighted when the head of his organization, The Colonel ( I think a reference to how the man of today has become slaves to his eating habits), calling every human being unspecial.

Eisenberg’s coworkers are all old; the ones that do similar work to him are, anyway. Is this, coupled with the constant transitioning into Japanese music, calling out to the unusual methods in Japan’s ageing workforce? I’m just spitballing here.

Another thing I noticed immediately was the lighting. Eisenberg’s character is always shown with a darker shade of light, or an almost lack of it to mirror his life. When he feels different emotions, a different colour floods the space he is in. The colour is also playing with our emotions a bit as it tries to hypnotize us into empathizing with Simon James(Eisenberg).

On a last note I have to say that the film reminded me of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange with its subject and constant use of classical music. It came as no surprise to me that this film was adapted from a Dostoevsky novella of the same name. It has a lot of the self-loathing, self-criticizing nature that is signatory of the Russian master.

It’s experimental, bleak and quite beautifully dark while not losing its prize asset – Jesse Eisenberg. It’s also not for everyone and requires immense patience to watch. The film also leaves the ending open for interpretation, much like our lives to us.

4/5 stars.

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