Director Denis Villeneuve and leading man Jake Gyllenhaal teamed up for an intriguing double feature at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, where their mainstream thriller Prisoners (with co-stars Hugh Jackman, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano) screened just prior to its unveiling at theaters nationwide, but it was the premiere of Enemy, based on a novel by José Saramago, that may have been even more astonishing.
One of three films at the fest with doppelgangers in the mix (alongside the obviously named title The Double and The Face of Love), Enemy comes closest to capturing the surreal nature of the theme as only a novel could, slowly building a tone of brooding tension and foreboding. There is an intensity to Villeneuve’s work that might likely be too much for the average viewer, but he’s angling for consideration as a modern-day Hitchcock and woe to those who would doubt him. Opens March 21. (R) Feature review to run next week