Enemy Review: The Tarantulas Have Spoken


Enemy is the critical inception of Jose Saramago on-screen in a movie that stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Adam Bell and his own counterpart/enemy – Anthony Claire. The storyline is very interesting, but a bulk of the story does not stay true to the novel’s depth of prose and thematic motif.

The storyline starts with Adam Bell who is a Toronto History college professor who is very routine in his work and maintains a relationship with his girlfriend Mary. As he watches a movie on a normal night, he sees an actor that looks just like him. The actor is playing a bus-boy at a hotel and the sequence seems entirely drawn out in terms of adding some sort of eerie element that fails to make any significant impact. Adam ends up being obsessed in meeting Anthony Claire (the actor that is his exact lookalike), and the other with him and his girlfriend Mary. Some weird request is exchanged to switch lives, and in a series of self-obsessed frames and sequences, we see the thematic element of tarantulas barely make an appearance throughout the Toronto skyline. Without any real explanation for these, even until the ending, viewers are left utterly dazed at to what anything in the movie can mean. The tarantulas are not explained as a proper thematic element, and the whole movie ends up feeling entirely baseless and even ridiculous.

Enemy carries some elements of the novel well while failing to properly educate the viewer on something that is major if they have not read the novel. For those who are well-inclined to pick up on the vaguest of hints, Enemy is not that much of a bad movie especially when it makes sense. But for a vast majority of viewers, Enemy is the real enemy to its own screening.

 Rating: 1.5/5 stars

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