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Doppelganger (2005)

Yakusho Koji , Shimoda Atsuyuki , Kurosawa Kiyoshi  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Yakusho Koji, Shimoda Atsuyuki, Kawabata Motoo, Nagasaku Hiromi, Yusuke Santamaria
  • Directors: Kurosawa Kiyoshi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006Q946Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Trailer and TV Spots
  • "Making Of" featurette
  • Interview with Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Asia Extreme Trailers

Editorial Reviews

What would you do if you ran into your perfect double, your "doppelganger" - somebody who looks exactly like you? That is the starting point for this supernatural thriller that explores the duality of nature, and the conflict that arises when we cannot come to terms with both sides of our personalities . When meek scientist Michio Hayasaki comes face to face with his own doppelganger, he is at first terrified, believing that when this happens, you will die. Resisting at first, Hayasaki eventually learns to deal with his double, who, though physically identical to him, is frighteningly opposite in nature. The doppelganger pushes Hayasaki further and further into accepting the opposite side of his own nature, as his life starts heading into a downward spiral that can have only one conclusion.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done May 22, 2005
You would probably end up feeling short-changed if you tried to see this film as a horror or as a comedy because the film is not really either. What Kurosawa's trying to portray here is the frailty and egocentricity of human mind. Kurosawa has always been interested in digging into our innermost ego, and this film is no exception. Hayasaki's double is actually his alter ego, another side of his persona that he himself refuses to accept but deep down wishes to embrace. This is somewhat reflective of Japan's contemporary social psyche - the one that is torn between aspiration and reality. For one I can totally identify with this somewhat demented character, and I believe many others can, too. There are some minor quibbles - take, for example, the scene where this chap gets chased by a rolling mirror ball, which is rather farcical - but Yakusho is in his element while all the other supporting roles are beautifully played. It should also be noted that the robot in this film is used rather metaphorically, representing one's control over self.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Doppleganger is a smart film and I think that people are selling it short by looking at the negatives like "lack of CG FX". Money doesn't make the best films. If you're looking for only horror films, this may not be for you, but to slander Doppleganger for bad marketing, too, is not the film's fault. Not every Asia Extreme film is going to be a horror-masterpiece. There has to be room for flexibility within the genres and this movie is one of those. It's a thriller, without the blood. You can't blame the film for that. And judging a movie by the box is just plain dumb. With that aside, yes, I did pop in the DVD assuming it would be horror, but the film impressed me nonetheless. It's actually more of a sci-fi psychological thriller. It reminded me of the cult classic 80's films like 'The Reanimator' except without the same "gore/slasher" aspects. To begin with the acting is amazing, but that's not even the best part. The director is really on top of his game.

What's amazing about these Asian directors like Kurosawa is that they're more versed in american cinema than the idiots directing for the big american studios these days. If you look at the way the story unfolds, and the movement of the camera, and music choice, not to mention the awesome split screen (which I thought was really advantageous to this movie) you can tell that Kurosawa has to have seen some classic DePalma movies like "Blowout" and "Body Double" (Blowout, 1980 -- Tarantino loved it...and was the reason he used Travolta in Pulp Fiction). It's also feels like there's a shadow of Cronenberg as well, and those robots look like "Johnny 5" from Short Circuit.

What you have to understand is that this film is looking at the idea of the doppleganger as a metaphor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Duality Study... January 28, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Have you ever wanted to say / do something bold, only to be held back by inner dread or guilt? Ever wondered if there was an exact double of you out there, running around somewhere? If so, what if you ran into each other one day? What if your double could say / do those things you've secretly longed to say / do, all without fear or remorse? DOPPLEGANGER explores these, and other intriguing questions, using dark comedy and psychological thrills to get its point across. This is another example of asian films being fresh, bizarre, and absolutely non-Hollywood-esque. Highly recommended...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A near masterpiece! May 12, 2006
By Shaun
The Doppleganger Production Committee asks: "What would you do if you ran into your perfect double, your "doppelganger"-someone who looks exactly like you?" Well?

Doppelganger opens like so many classic thrillers; with violins a-screeching and horns a-screaming. This self-described "most frightening film yet" plays like a intellectual thriller, not the hellish nightmare spelled out by the movie's main tagline.

The movie jumps back and forth between to story-lines, happening concurrently. Firstly, we see Yuka (Hiromi Nagasaku ) leaving a home improvements store. She sees her brother, Takashi, wondering in the store parking lot. Yuka offers him a ride back to their house with her, but Takashi sullen and hunched over, continues to walk away with only a short glance back. When Yuka gets home, a phone call informs her that Takashi is at the area hospital, deceased. This news shocks and surprises Yuka, because Takashi is writing on his computer, in his room.

Cut to Hayasaki (K?ji Yakusho; Cure). He's a company idea-man who, with his two assistants Takano and Aoki, is working to perfect his newest project; an "artificial body" that has promise to help the paralyzed. After a successful test of the chair in front of the company's board, Hayasaki is pressured by the department head to either finalize the project or take a management position and let someone else finish his work. He refuses. The company is putting heavy pressure on him and his small staff. Frustrated, Hayasaki heads home to find...Hayasaki sitting in his chair! The film continues to give us alternating tastes of Hayasaki's and Yuka's stories until they soon find themselves sitting across from each other at a diner. They both have similar problems.
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