The Double [Blu-ray]
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The plot turns on Simon James, a woeful introvert who lives alone and is only barely recognized by his colleagues after seven years of employment. He pines for and spies on one of them, Hannah, but his shy nature restrains him from even trying to establish a deeper relationship. His uneventful life is upended when he encounters James Simon, his doppelgänger, an exact physical replica who is no other way resembles Simon himself. James is charming, outgoing, self-indulgent, sly, and prone to womanizing. At first, the two share a certain truce, with Simon helping James excel on a professional level in return for a personal education in confidence and flirtation, but their coexistence grows unstable as James advances. He begins to lord over and abuse Simon before threatening to erase his existence altogether.
Star Jesse Eisenberg has never scored a more rewarding or suitable part than the dual roles of Simon James and James Simon.Read more ›
The film is clearly symbolic and metaphorical, but of what, I am uncertain. One line from the film "giving faceless people immortality" almost seems like a reference to Internet social media such as Facebook. The film is based on a Russian novella by the same name. I have stopped reading Russian novels because there is so much packed into them, they make my head explode.
The novella itself doesn't offer an explanation, although three have been offered by critics:
1) Main character is insane
2) Author is insane
3)'The human will in its search for total freedom of expression becomes a self-destructive impulse.’"
The film was well done as it captured a mood and allowed the viewer to assign their own significance to it. However, this is clearly not a film for everyone. Those who don't like films with massive amounts of symbolism to the point the linear plot doesn't make any sense, need to avoid this one. Dostoyevsky fans are welcomed.
Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex ot nudity
It isn't action-packed, but it IS very interesting. It plays on common fears such as being late, being overshadowed and being replaced. But if you're the kind of movie watcher who wants excitement and thrilling suspense and action, this isn't for you. It is suspenseful, but in a much more dark, subtle and oddball way. You will be confused, and that's the POINT. You're not supposed to understand everything, but the movie does demand that you make your own interpretations and judgements about what's "really" happening, especially at the end. But if you give it the time and attention it asks for and deserves, it is a fantastic, dark, dream-like movie. It's like putting together the pieces of a puzzle and if you care to put them together, you will walk away feeling satisfied.
It doesn't strike me as a surprise that all the negative reviews of this movie are only one or two lines long, saying how boring it was, either.
First, this is a gifted film-maker, who doesn't want to play by the usual rules. Next, he knows how to get off to a great start, build a fascinating world, get you involved with his people, but third, he doesn't quite find ways to make his third acts pay off as interestingly (or powerfully or emotionally) as the first two-thirds of the film promise. In both films the focus drifts to less interesting elements or variations on the stories he's telling.
And last, he needs to lighten up on the too-obvious 'homage's to his cinematic touchstones. In "Submarine" it was (among others) Wes Anderson and "Rushmore". Here the overbearing influences (there are many) are led by Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". There were a large number of design and character choices – while effective - that came close enough that I couldn't help but sit there making comparisons ('Hey, there's Wallace Shawn doing Ian Holm'). And it starts to approach that fine line between inspiration and plagiarism.
That said, there's a lot to like here. The photography is often gorgeous. Jessie Eisenberg does a terrific job in a tough double role – a meek office worker who is suddenly faced with another employee who looks exactly like him. But the new guy has a brash, self-confident personality, everyone loves him, and no one else seems to notice the two are physically exactly alike, right down to their clothes.
This raises interesting questions about personality, perception and reality. Is "James Simon" (the cool one) merely a psychological projection of the nerd, "Simon James"?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing movie with fantastic humor and a fantastic story. This movie is a nice change of pace from regular comedies and is a great ride.Published 1 month ago by Nickolas Geeker
I understand that this movie will be boring for many people, but I really liked it. It's subtle, clever, lots of situational irony. Read morePublished 2 months ago by SewerGuy
I usually like movies like this, that are more artsy and have a lot of symbolism and depth to them, but this movie just didn't engage me. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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