The Double – Fighting with Your Look-Alike

EXCEPTIONAL/REVIEW
by Alina Piruzieva
20.12.2020
Based on Dostoevsky's novel, Richard Ayoade's brainchild The Double (2013) dazzles with its uniqueness, while references to other pieces of art. In addition to the original idea brought up by Dostoevsky's novel «The Double» (1846) the film echoes Edgar Allan Poe's writings and such an iconic story as Denis Villeneuve's Enemy (2013). Although The Double is just the second feature-length film of Richard Ayoade, it impresses with the interpretation of such a complicated plot.
The Double tells about Simon James
(Jesse Eisenberg), an office worker, who is so unassuming that even the security guard doesn't let him in the office without checking his ID.
And this is considering the fact that Simon has been working there for seven years! The main character is almost invisible: his colleagues can't remember his name, his neighbour and co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), he's in love with, doesn't even notice him. People always ignore Simon's interests. We see this in the very beginning of the movie when the main character gives up his seat on the train to an arrogant passenger, although there are only two of them
in the whole car.
The appearance of Simon's new colleague, James Simon, terrifies him. Also played by Jesse Eisenberg, the new employee looks exactly like the main character but has a completely different personality. He is self-confident and charismatic, which immediately makes him everyone's favourite. And what shocks Simon the most, nobody even notices that the new employee is literally his twin. But that's entirely reasonable: for most people, it was difficult to notice "a bit of a nonperson" Simon himself. Bit by bit, James starts taking over Simon's life, and in a matter of days, gets everything that Simon has been craving for years.

Even though The Double's plot is thrilling, it doesn't lead to any explanation, so some things remain unclear. But the movie
is still worth watching as it brings up relevant topics of social anxiety and identity and has a great cast. Jesse Eisenberg's acting is just brilliant. He manages to show both of his characters' personalities, so it is clear who is Simon and who is James. You can tell the difference just by watching the way Eisenberg walks, talks, and even looks at others.
Remarkably, the characters don't talk much,
but all their lines are extremely valuable. Almost everything they say expresses their thoughts and shows their attitude. This leads to another feature of the film: The Double is probably the quietest movie I have ever seen. There is almost
no background music, which helps to see
the story from Simon's point, rather than as neutral observers. It seems like we experience
the same emotions as Simon when hearing
his heartbeat in the silence. We become so close to him that even comic situations don't seem
to be funny anymore. We only see injustice and ignorance towards Simon and feel sorry for him.
The visuals of the film are also remarkable. While the dark shadows and grey and brown colors reflect the overall bleakness of the isolated reality in which Simon exists, minimalistic decorations show its emptiness. Almost everything in The Double happens in "the vacuum", whether it is Simon's room, restaurant, or even a space between two apartment blocks. The picture helps us understand the character's perception of reality. As viewers, we see the story from the vantage point, therefore understand Simon's reasons, and watch him try to cope with all his problems in his little isolated, almost like a cage, world.
The most exciting thing is that The Double has an open ending, so it leaves some space for the viewer's interpretation. Though such an ending might seem confusing, it still gives us hope for a better future. At least for me, Simon's "I'd like to think I'm pretty unique" sounds quite optimistic.
 
The Double – Fighting with Your Look-Alike

EXCEPTIONAL/REVIEW
by Alina Piruzieva
20.12.2020
Based on Dostoevsky's novel, Richard Ayoade's brainchild The Double (2013) dazzles with its uniqueness, while references to other pieces of art. In addition to the original idea brought up by Dostoevsky's novel «The Double» (1846) the film echoes Edgar Allan Poe's writings and such an iconic story as Denis Villeneuve's Enemy (2013). Although The Double is just the second feature-length film of Richard Ayoade, it impresses with the interpretation of such a complicated plot.
The Double tells about Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg), an office worker, who is so unassuming that even the security guard doesn't let him in the office without checking his ID. And this is considering the fact that Simon has been working there for seven years! The main character is almost invisible: his colleagues can't remember his name, his neighbour and co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), he's in love with, doesn't even notice him. People always ignore Simon's interests. We see this in the very beginning of the movie when the main character gives up his seat on the train to an arrogant passenger, although there are only two of them in the whole car.
The appearance of Simon's new colleague, James Simon, terrifies him. Also played by Jesse Eisenberg, the new employee looks exactly like the main character but has a completely different personality. He is self-confident and charismatic, which immediately makes him everyone's favourite. And what shocks Simon the most, nobody even notices that the new employee is literally his twin. But that's entirely reasonable: for most people, it was difficult to notice "a bit of a nonperson" Simon himself. Bit by bit, James starts taking over Simon's life, and in a matter of days, gets everything that Simon has been craving for years.

Even though The Double's plot is thrilling, it doesn't lead to any explanation, so some things remain unclear. But the movie is still worth watching as it brings up relevant topics of social anxiety and identity and has a great cast. Jesse Eisenberg's acting is just brilliant. He manages to show both of his characters' personalities, so it is clear who is Simon and who is James. You can tell the difference just by watching the way Eisenberg walks, talks, and even looks at others.

Remarkably, the characters don't talk much, but all their lines are extremely valuable. Almost everything they say expresses their thoughts and shows their attitude. This leads to another feature of the film: The Double is probably the quietest movie I have ever seen. There is almost no background music, which helps to see the story from Simon's point, rather than as neutral observers. It seems like we experience the same emotions as Simon when hearing his heartbeat in the silence. We become so close to him that even comic situations don't seem to be funny anymore. We only see injustice and ignorance towards Simon and feel sorry for him.
The visuals of the film are also remarkable. While the dark shadows and grey and brown colors reflect the overall bleakness of the isolated reality in which Simon exists, minimalistic decorations show its emptiness. Almost everything in The Double happens in "the vacuum", whether it is Simon's room, restaurant, or even a space between two apartment blocks. The picture helps us understand the character's perception of reality. As viewers, we see the story from the vantage point, therefore understand Simon's reasons, and watch him try to cope with all his problems in his little isolated, almost like a cage, world.
The most exciting thing is that The Double has an open ending, so it leaves some space for the viewer's interpretation. Though such an ending might seem confusing, it still gives us hope for a better future. At least for me, Simon's "I'd like to think I'm pretty unique" sounds quite optimistic.
Made on
Tilda