Enemy reunites Jake Gyllenhaal with director Denis Villeneuve for the second time, following their 2013 film Prisoners. It tells the story of a young history professor who is dissatisfied with his life. He watches a movie in which there is an actor that looks identical to him. Falling into a sort of obsession, he arranges to meet the man. Following that first meeting, the two are inextricably linked, deeply affecting each other’s lives.
Full of long, wide shots, Enemy is artfully made. The unique soundtrack and the sepia tone create a feeling of suspense that carries throughout the whole film. The story is intertwined with symbolism and unanswered questions reflecting on the theme of identity.
Although suspense mounts throughout the film, it never reaches a climax. The viewer expects to be surprised at every moment, and disappointingly never is. Additionally, Enemy is seriously lacking in substance. Clearly it is not a plot-driven film, which can be a refreshing change from the majority of movies; however, it lacks the depth it needed to complete a character-based film.
The ideas and intentions are there, but there is nothing behind them to give the film any force. Undeniably, Enemy makes the viewer examine the concept of self and of identity, but it just lacks the extra spark to make it powerful.