Jake Gyllenhaal plays two roles in this psychological film, one as a reserved professor the other as an erotic small time actor. When the professor spots his exact look a like as an extra In a film, he gets obsessive and goes on the lookout for him. Director, Villeneuve already showed his talents working with Gyllenhaal with his tense thriller Prisoners, and he does it again with Enemy. The man has a bright career ahead of him.
Enemy is mind-bending, psychedellic, and surreal. I have very little idea of what it all means, but I really like it. I didn't read any theories as to not affect my rating, but I'm about to, because Enemy kept me loathing to talk about it. The film has one of the scariest endings of recent years.
Outside of some crooked editing (was It really neccesary for the professor to recognize his look alike in a dream), Enemy is a really good film, with a range of influences, which makes me want to see more of the recent psychedellic releases. Next up, Under the skin.
As a semi-paranoid driver the idea of being terrorized by a tractor- trailer on an empty highway sounds terrifying to me. When I read the synopsis to Duel, I imagined a gripping thriller. And Duel is gripping, but there were no thrills. I believe the main reason is the chase is set in broad daylight, if this was set at night it would add a more isolated and vulnerable setting. Dennis Weaver was a convincing protagonist but his fear and paranoia were more spoken than needed, his physical acting didn't say enough. The film is still worth a watch due to the great concept, and decent execution (it was in no way boring, and could've been handled way worse), plus it's cool to see where Spielberg began.
The Lost Weekend is a cynical look at alcoholism, somewhat of a Billy Wilder 40s version of Leaving Las Vegas. The humor in the film is dry and dark, never laughed out loud but often smirked at the irony of the situations. Ray Milland plays Don Birnam, apparently there's two of them: the writer and the alcoholic. This film only shows the latter. This dark look at a still relevant addiction makes alcoholism truly terrifying, mainly thanks to Millands acting. However the very ending didn't seem to fit in, I feel something darker would accomplish more.
As far as the frw Wilders I've seen goes I'd rank this under The Apartment and Some Like it Hot, but above Sabrina. The fluid narration and great lead acting makes this a worth while film, but doesn't wrap itself into a great one.
Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon, is shot in stunning black and white, fittingly set in a small German village shortly prior to World War I. The story is narrated by the most humanist and sincere character the school teacher, even though the themes of the tales hardly match his. The sadistic and cruel acts depicted usually involve the more noble people of the town and/or the children. Then there's more mysterious and crueler events, mainly the harsh torture of children. A common theme in the film is punishment, chiefly unjust punishment, it seems that the source of these vile acts is from some sort of punisher. The film keeps the audience guessing, trying to remember every small detail- and there are many- to solve the puzzle. The film towards the end goes through intense interrogations and build-up but ultimately leaves an open end. Very similar to Haneke's earliereffortCache (although The White Ribbon this is way more of a drama, than a thriller). The mystery shows how the audience, similar to the characters, is always searching for a scapegoat. Which makes sense that this film is set right before the first world war, even though it feels much more like a prequel to the second world war.