Thursday Movie Pick #18: Doppelgänger

Welcome back to Thursday Movie Picks by Wandering through the Shelves! Last week I was absent, but this week I’m back alive and kickin’. According to the theme of the week, three to five movies are picked and shared with the reason. Should anyone be interested in joining in, feel free to visit the main page here.

Our theme for this week is: Doppelgänger. Such a theme, isn’t it? Lucky I’ve found recent films from my repertoire in 2014 to actually eligible to get picked this week. I picked three films about doppelgänger and all of them are mind-blowing at best, cringe-worthy at worst. So, here’s my picks!

01. The Double (2014, Richard Ayoade)

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In this quirky retro-futuristic story, Ayoade introduces as to Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg), a clumsy, passive guy whose life is troubled when his double, James Simon (also Jesse Eisenberg), is coming along. Both characters are completely different and they’re holding grudge to each other. It’s an identity crisis drama, which takes its quirkiness too seriously, but that’s okay.

02. Enemy (2014, Denis Villeneuve)

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Denis Villeneuve with puzzles and twists is one thing; but, this man with puzzles, twists, and a shade of surrealism is a whole new thing, which turns out being a whole new excitement. Adapting José Saramago’s The Double (O Homem Duplicado), Villeneuve experiments with his new flavour—making it looks like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, more precisely—with two Jake Gyllenhaal.

03. Coherence (2014, James Ward Byrkit)

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This one is the most obscure among those three. How can a perplexing multi-reality sci-fi be served in a small-budget reunion talk drama? The answer is: adding layers of complexity in the script like Coherence does. It’s a Schrödinger Cat manifestation in a lively living room drama with more entry and less exit. It embraces the solid scientific ground like Shane Carruth’s Primer and crafts it in a digestible story.

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14 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Pick #18: Doppelgänger”

  1. Oh dear I’ve only seen one of these, Enemy and I hated it. Jake was good but I couldn’t get into the film. I’ll never watch the first, Eisenberg gives me hives but the last sounds intriguing.

    I tried for a variety of genres to see how the theme could be reworked. My last is based on true events and my second is a long time favorite.

    The Devil’s Double (2011)-During Saddam Hussein’s iron fisted reign in Bagdad Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper), a lieutenant in the Iraqi army, is called to the palace and told that because of his resemblance to Hussein’s depraved son Uday (also Cooper) he is commanded to be his body double or his family will be exterminated. Having no choice but sickened by the corruption, inhumanity and evil he witnesses he searches for a way to escape and save his family at the same time. This is Cooper’s movie all the way and he’s just great but it’s a hard film to watch.

    Dave (1993)-Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) is an affable Midwesterner, running a temp agency and making appearances at small events due to his resemblance to the current US president, Bill Mitchell (also Kline). The Secret Service takes note of the similarity whisking Dave off to the capitol as a stand-in for Mitchell at an event. While there an emergency arises, Bill Mitchell has suffered a devastating stroke and his power mad aide Bob Alexander (Frank Langella-oozing slime) and press secretary Alan (Kevin Dunn) talk Dave into assuming his place theoretically for the good of the country. Actually Alexander is seeking to usurp the political reins until he can figure out how to take full control. At first the subterfuge is known only by the two and a dutiful Secret Service agent Duane Stevenson (Ving Rhames) but as Dave starts to rebel against their treachery and display his very different personality First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Signourney Weaver) begins to suspect. There’s plenty more machinations in store all delightfully directed by Ivan Reitman and put over by exactly the right performer in each role. Thoroughly beguiling comedy with a perfect cast.

    I Was Monty’s Double (1958)-A retelling of the true event where an enlisted man, M. E. Clifton James (who plays himself) was chosen to imitate Field Marshal Montgomery–the leader of the British forces during WWII. The plan (Operation Copperhead) was to have Monty’s double go on a tour of North Africa around the same time as the Normandy invasion in Northern France–so that the Germans would assume the assault would come later than actually planned and from the South. The film is about the formation and execution of the ultra-top secret plan but while it treats the subject seriously it leavens the situation with a much needed humorous undertone aided by a terrific British cast including John Mills and Cecil Parker.

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  2. I haven’t seen any of these although the one with Jake sounds interesting to me. I just can’t stomach Eisenberg, I wish someone would trip him…I know bad of me

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