Film / Enemy

Enemy is an eerie 2013 thriller film directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It is based on the novel The Double by Jose Saramago, and concerns a history professor named Adam Bell whose normal, quiet life takes a very strange turn after he watches a film featuring an actor who is an exact double of him and tracks the man down.

This series provides examples of:

  • Anachronic Order: Due to the ambiguous nature of the story, it's not clear whether the events are happening in the order we see them. This holds particularly true if Adam and Anthony are indeed the same person. Sequences that cut back and forth between them might not be happening concurrently as the editing implies.
  • Bed Trick: Adam and Anthony both impersonate each other, thus winding up having sex with the other's girlfriend/wife respectively.
  • Gainax Ending: Adam staring resignedly at a room-sized tarantula that has seemingly taken the place of Helen.
  • Retraux: Where There's A Will, There's A Way has the visual style of a film from the 1960s, and appears to be set around that time as well. This is despite Anthony appearing in it.
  • Rule 34: The sex show that Adam (or Anthony) attends at the beginning of the film includes a woman in high heels about to step on a tarantula. This is a real fetish, called "crush."
  • Separated at Birth: Discussed as one possibility for Adam and Anthony's being doubles. Both Adam and Anthony's mother deny it, however (they also possess the same scar, something identical twins would not have, unless synchronization is in play).
  • Show Within a Show: Where There's A Will, There's A Way.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Spiders are a recurring theme, including the tarantulas in the beginning, the gigantic spider striding through a cityscape in a dream, a woman with the head of a spider in another dream, and the enormous tarantula that replaces Helen in the end.
  • Spot the Imposter: Anthony's wife suspects briefly that Adam isn't her husband, but dismisses it. Adam's girlfriend, meanwhile, realizes who Anthony is. This leads to both of their deaths.
  • The Unreveal: The exact reason for Adam and Anthony's being doubles is never explained.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: One popular interpretation of the film is that it takes place mostly in Adam's head, with Anthony being a symptom of his delusions.