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Enemy 2013

Enemy | Ennemi


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About the Enemy 💬

''Chaos is order yet undeciphered.''

José Saramago

ENEMY is a mesmerizing psychological thriller based on the novel 'The Double' by Nobel Laureate José Saramago.

ENEMY tells the story of a university lecturer named Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is nearing the end of a relationship with his girlfriend Mary (Mélanie Laurent). One night, while watching a film, Adam spots a minor actor who looks just like him. Consumed by the desire to meet his double, Adam tracks down Anthony, an actor living with his pregnant wife Helen (Sarah Gadon) and engages him in a complex and dangerous struggle.

Gyllenhaal is transfixing playing both roles, journeying through a world both familiar and strange. The film's final and unnerving image will not be soon forgotten by audiences. In the end, only one man can survive.


''As I read José Saramago's The Double, I experienced a strong sense of vertigo. Vertigo is always part of my worst nightmares, but I'm inexplicably drawn to it.

Saramago has a very unique way of approaching the weakness of human beings and the fragility of civilization. His fantastic sense of humor and his proverbial intelligence always deeply touch me. When I closed the book, I knew instantly that it would be my next film.

I consider ENEMY to be, in a curious way, my most personal project to date. It's a film about the power of the subconscious, a subject that deeply concerns me because it has such a strong influence on our personal lives and a real impact on society in general. If you aren't aware of this force and its side effects, you would never know who's making decisions - who's really in charge inside yourself.

A man who wants to leave his mistress and go back to his pregnant wife must confront his worst enemy: himself. Saramago decided, with all his ferocious humor, that this man should be in competition with another version of himself. As in my previous feature film INCENDIES, 1+1=1 is a dreadful equation.

This movie is, in fact, a subconscious experience. In the dark spaces of his mind, Adam deals with obsessive sexuality that cuts him off from intimacy and therefore any hope of true love. In order to be able to return to his regular life, his narcissistic side turns against the object of his sexual desire and destroys it.

From a director's point of view, I see ENEMY as an existential erotic thriller where we follow a man who's spying on his doppelgänger across the landscape of an endless North American metropolis. That's why I would also consider ENEMY a neurotic Spy Movie.

And if this spy movie has only one ''gadget'', it is a powerful one: when Adam meets Anthony for the first time, the audience will have to feel the total impact and weight of this surreal situation. It's all about presence. It is a huge cinematographic challenge for me to express the weight of such an encounter. To see yourself is a phenomenon that should have the same impact on a human being as a black hole does on a galaxy. A deep existential crisis must move slowly around Adam, like a shark around its prey in dark waters. This existential crisis, this depression, is part of the main character, even if it isn't mentioned in the dialogue. How unbearable is it to confront yourself, to totally recognize yourself in another being?''

Denis Villeneuve

  • Weaving the Web - The Spider Symbolism

The principal visual symbol of the spider in ENEMY, which does not appear in Saramago's novel 'The Double,' raises many questions and is largely open to interpretation.

''The spider symbology can be interpreted in many ways,'' says screenplay writer Javier Gullón. ''In our film, it is linked to motherhood but I feel that people will ultimately choose their own meaning. It will be different for each viewer.''

''I think the spider sets a tone,'' says Gyllenhaal. ''In this film, it feels like some sort of truth that's always looming. If you weigh the fear of spiders against the reality of what they actually do, the fear outweighs that reality. People have been bitten and even killed by spiders and they're scary, but at the same time I think the fear of spiders is way bigger than the reality of what they are.''

''Spiders are perhaps a little scary, but fascinating and they can make these wonderful webs. They're great architects and they're capable of incredible things and yet they're just bugs,'' says Isabella Rossellini. ''So I think there's a sort of fascination and also a feeling of being repelled by them.''

''For me, I was looking for a perfect image that would say something specific about sexuality and the subconscious. For that, in my mind, the spider was a perfect image,'' says Villeneuve. ''But I think this image will mean something different for everyone who watches and my hope is to leave this up to the interpretation of the audience.''

Enemy Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Denis Villeneuve

Writing Credits

Javier Gullón (Written by)

José Saramago (Based on the novel ''The Double'' by)


Jake Gyllenhaal

Mélanie Laurent

Sarah Gadon

Isabella Rossellini

Music by

Danny Bensi

Saunder Jurriaans

Cinematography by

Nicolas Bolduc

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Countries: Canada, Spain

Enemy Official Trailer

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