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Simon and James, both played by Jesse Eisenberg

The Double is a clever satire, succeeding in its character study and aesthetics

JamesArthurArmstrong JamesArthurArmstrong The Double is set within a world which deliberately adds an equivocal complexion to the the irritating backdrop for the movies focal point, Simon.

Simon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite— confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.

No one cares about Simon James. He goes through the motions of life hoping for recognition that never comes. The facets of Simon’s life are portrayed in a smooth, desirable manner by an actor who is incredibly talented. Jesse Eisenberg is a sophisticated actor who leads the film with a sense of comfort within itʼs unconventional and esoteric surroundings.

Jesse Eisenberg driven insane by his double
Jesse Eisenberg driven insane by his double


Written and directed by Richard Ayoade (Submarine), The Double is an excellent tale of intrigue and assertiveness. Ayoade has a unique vision stamped all over this movie’s blueprint. His articulate eye for mood and setting is apparent throughout, displaying a knack for juggling dark humour with dark narrative sensibilities. Ayoade is becoming a breath of fresh air within the independent scene, his stylistic choices add a nightmarish quality to the characters surreal environment.

This movie and his previous effort Submarine are both intellectually odd and provocatively fascinating. His techniques draw obvious comparisons to David Lynch and Terry Gilliam, but The Double has a flavour of the Coen Brotherʼs forgotten— and usually downtrodden— The Hudsucker Proxy.

It's sense of humour is palpable within it’s world, although it is delivered by an array of dislikable people. The Double is a clever satire with a story that is interesting in subject and deconstructed with a hugely satisfying visual approach.


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