The Double (2014)

Richard Ayoade is most well known as being the not Chris O’Dowd character from The IT Crowd.

He has had the occasional other gig, but that is where most people know him. But hey, he also wants to be a director, so for his (up to this point) biggest release, he has given us a movie called The Double, which is lighting up the indie film circuit.

The Double is described by some people as a black comedy. But fuck that, this is a drama thriller.

Which is shown clearly by the use of camera lens and creepy stalking.

Let’s talk about Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg). He is a nice guy, does his job, does it well, but rarely gets acknowledged in his company. His boss (Wallace Shawn) practically ignores him despite his record, but whatever.

But a series of events leave him feeling a bit frazzled. He loses his ID badge, and gets a lot of crap for it. He has to tutor the bosses daughter. And a new hire at the work, James Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) looks identical to him. Even his voice. Other people don’t seem to notice, but it is uncanny.

James Simon, the new guy, is good at social skills which Simon James is not. However, Simon James is good at the job and doing his job. They do some of that twin switcheroo stuff to help each other out, but when James Simon starts to take things for granted, Simon James is going to find himself struggling just to feel like he exists.

Also, there is a girl involved too, of course. Mia Wasikowska, an employee at the company.

Double double
Just two dudes, not talking to each other in a public restroom. As it should be.

The Double is one of those film titles that is pretty common. This is the second The Double, I have reviewed, the first one being an absolutely terrible thriller and should promptly be ignored.

So. The first The Double is like Simon James, and this The Double is like James Simon. I am doubling up on The Doubles.

Regardless, this The Double is an incredibly weird movie. Not zany antics weird, but all of it. Everything was done deliberately in this film, from the lighting, to the camera lenses used, the angles. You can tell a lot of work went into it.

This is also the type of movie you can’t half-ass while watching it. A lot will fly right by you if you do, and you might not understand the ending in the slightest. But for those of you who are diligent, overall this movie is a very rewarding experience with some interesting twists. Might even be the type of movie you want to watch…twice.

3 out of 4.

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One comment

  • Matthew Stonebraker

    I really liked it! Just finished reading the Dostoevsky novel so I picked this up as well. A bit borrowed (Brazil, A Short Film About Love), but that’s okay. Great acting, good storytelling. But the real star here is the filmmaking. The cinematography is so sharp, so exact a vision. In the scene where he is walking home from the ball (right before his double appears) he walks past this endless uniform corrugated metal wall and the lighting is precise and NEVER changes, holding the shadows in the same place on his face for 20 or so seconds. I wonder if they did that shot with a treadmill or a moving light source or what. Anyway, it was really striking.

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