'Enemy'. An intriguing premise knocked out of the park by Villeneuve! Hypnotic, suspenseful, original. Shot and scored magnificently!
Two shots of glimmering eyes in darkness are absolute stand-outs. One of Gyllenhaal, another of a "woman" walking upside down. The silhouettes, and swooping, sepia-washed city all create an inquisitive, unnerving atmosphere that's backed up by a lovely score. Gyllenhaal is doing wonders by portraying two characters in the most nuanced of ways.
The overarching theme of dictatorships coupled with the spider motif (plus the web-like shattered glass and street cables) that's lead me to interpret this world as one that's essentially "run by spiders" (things you don't expect to be saying at the end of a review). Are those swooping shots of the skyline from the perspective of these creatures? I'm not sure what to make of a small spider being crushed in the beginning to ones that are towering over the city, half-spider, half-woman women and a complete, gigantic one that's taken the place of a pregnant woman when Adam makes the decision to go to the club, bringing things full circle.
The puzzlement is scattered throughout, like the mother seemingly knowing of both Anthony and Adam. The ripped photo in an old box of Adam's that you see a complete version of in Anthony's home. A co-worker recommending the particular movie that sets everything in motion. Is the heel used to crush the spider in the opening ritual the one that he examines in Anthony's cupboard? The fact that all this is burned into my mind after a night of heavy drinking can only mean this film has impacted me in a big way when things normally wash over instantly.
Paced very deliberately, this yarn is akin to being in a spider's web while being wholly oblivious to it. That ending invoked joy and a whole other level of befuddlement that has my mind working overtime to entangle.
'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. Spent half the film awestruck, shaking my head in disbelief. A gorgeous, inventive, meticulously-crafted world by Anderson.
The humour never misses a beat, from Fiennes' unexpectedly great performance to the visual gags scattered throughout.
From typefaces to costumes, interiors, characters/cast and dialogue, Wes Anderson's unique world is fully realised. The camera movement, as always, remarkable. It's a magical place, and I daresay this is my favourite film of his.
There's no doubt this will require multiple viewings (ideally, frame-by-frame) to completely grasp all the visual flair on offer.