The Double (Richard Ayoade, UK, 2014)

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the-double

 

 

A really smart and ambitious take on Dostoyevsky’s The Double that doesn’t quite ‘play.’ In the film, the present is imagined as a dark 19th-century world with 1930s appliances where everyone is lonely, the self is divided, alienation is the norm and suicide is the only way out. Jesse Eisenberg plays two versions of a character and impresses with each. That it doesn’t quite ‘play’ is not as bad as it sounds. Many great movies don’t: La règle du jeu, The Magnificent Ambersons, many others; and if Ayoade’s film is nowhere near that level, it still makes for a fascinating watch. The Double is beautiful to look at, all noir-and-amber lighting, characters in frames within frames, boxed in, and with the camera often zooming out so that their imprisonment becomes complete. Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska are mesmeric and I loved seeing Cathy Moriarty again. After Submarine and The Double, Richard Ayoade is no longer a director of promise but one of achievement.

 

José Arroyo

2 thoughts on “The Double (Richard Ayoade, UK, 2014)

    […] atmospheric; much of its character is captured in José Arroyo’s description of it in his short review as ‘the present… imagined as a dark 19th-century world with 1930s appliances where everyone […]

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    Weekly Update September 17 « First Impressions said:
    September 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    […] takes but one in which he here fails; particularly in comparison with Jesse Eisenberg’s turn in The Double, where each of the characters seem to be human, to breathe. Emily Browning as Frances Shea, […]

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