The Double (2014)
Critic Consensus: Hauntingly bleak and thrillingly ambitious, The Double offers Jesse Eisenberg a pair of compelling roles while reaffirming writer-director Richard Ayoade's remarkable talent.
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Critic Reviews for The Double
British director Ayoade's second film is jam-packed with witty references, from cheesy sci-fi soap operas to the long-suffering men who populate the Coen brothers' films.
The film's bleakness is almost satirical. It's Brazil drained of the daydreams.
The Double invites second looks and close examination. As Simon finds when peering into mirrors, what we see is often unexpected.
Most of the time, "The Double" feels less like watching a book than reading a movie.
Like a lucid nightmare on the subway at odd hours, The Double leaves one feeling intellectually stimulated, creatively charged, and close to existential panic.
Audience Reviews for The Double
This atmospheric and visually stylized psychological thriller based on Dostoevsky brings to mind Kafka, Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, Orson Welles and even David Lynch in the way it makes us share the unsettling existence of a shy man who is forced to confront his loneliness.
No better pairing could exist than having an adaptation of Dostoyevsky directed by Richard Ayoade. One is absurdist and nearly dystopian, the other whimsical in a deliberate way. With grim settings, on edge characters, and a premise that belies logic for a sense of anonymity, "The Double" is a weird, wondrous ride through the mind of an invisible cog in a strange machine. Featuring Eisenberg in dual roles, he is both uncouth and barely audible, shamelessly self-promoting and irresponsibly obtuse. Other great performances come from Wallace Shawn as a near sighted boss, Mia Wasikowska as the love interest, and Cathy Moriarty in a great cameo as a waitress. Though much of this is engrossing, I would say the level of thoughtfulness sometimes overshadows the action, as it feels like a calculated thought experiment, more than a plot driven farce. What makes this film an interesting watch is the palpable tension between what's real and what's not, what's fair and what's not. It's outrageous in its simplicity, and depressing in its realism. Highly recommended for those with a quirky sense of humor, a love of the absurd, and a need for something intellectually stimulating.
Pretty yawn-inducing till it's halfway through, then gets a bit interesting for a while before it finally loses the steam again.
The Double Quotes
|Janitor:||Where you going?|
|Simon James/James Simon:||Fuck off!|
|Janitor:||Oh hey, James|
|Hannah:||You probably think I should be thankful that you took me to the hospital, but I'm not. I wanted to die and now I'm afraid I won't have the courage to try again. Do you wanna know what I think? I think that you should kill yourself. I promise I won't try to stop you halfway through.|
|Simon James/James Simon:||I don't know how to be myself. It's like I'm permanently outside myself. Like, like you could push your hands straight through me if you wanted to. And I can see the type of man I want to be versus the type of man I actually am and I know that I'm doing it but I'm incapable of what needs to be done. I'm like Pinocchio, a wooden boy. Not a real boy. And it kills me.|
|James Simon:||You can't be doing anything gay. No ice cream cones.|
|Simon James:||But I like ice cream.|
|James Simon:||Of course you do, it's delicious. Ice cream is fine in a cup, but in a cone it's gay, unless you're with a woman at the time.|
|Simon James:||Anything else?|
|James Simon:||Riding in a motorcicle with another man. The only exceptions are: drive-by shootings, bomb-throwings and purse snatchings. Anything else is gay.|