Meeting your evil twin must really suck…

Featuring

Jesse Eisenberg as Simon James
Mia Wasikowska as Hannah
Wallace Shawn as Mr Papadopoulos
Phyllis Somerville as Simon’s mother
with James Fox as The Colonel
and a special guest appearance by Jesse Eisenberg as James Simon

Simon James has 99 problems with his life, but being a successful, charismatic person ain’t one. Instead, he’s basically even lower in stature than a social pariah, ignored and invisible, even to his own mother. Of course, his mother has Alzheimer’s disease, so that’s not entirely surprising. But when she remembers him, all she can talk about is her disappointment in him.

Simon lives in some sort of warped future/past world, where everything is dark and gritty, everything and everyone hates him (even the lift at his work), and the girl of his dreams, Hannah doesn’t know he exists. Sounds kind of like my teenage years. Except I didn’t look nearly as good as Jesse Eisenberg, nor am I as rich as he is. Moving on, quickly…

Simon suddenly finds that there’s a new employee at his office, a doppelgänger, who name is James Simon. Rather curious. Despite being an employee for seven years, nobody notices that the new employee looks exactly the same as him. Except that unlike Simon, James is outgoing, confident and assertive. He’s so assertive, in fact, that he manages to do the impossible, land Hannah were Simon cannot. Of course, all of this boils over, but I won’t spoil the rest of the story in this review.

What I will say, is that The Double is an intriguing movie. You’re never sure just what’s going to happen to Simon, apart from the fact that it will undoubtedly be bad. Despite it being a comedy, it’s not overtly done to be funny, though some of the situations Simon finds himself in are either hilarious or downright depressing. Take your pick. In the end, Jesse Eisenberg really carries the part(s) in this movie exceptionally well. When he’s Simon, the geeky, polite and downtrodden self is crystal clear. When he’s acting in James’ part, it’s all typical Eisenberg, confident, witty and punchy. The rest of the acting doesn’t say much of the cast because, frankly, they don’t really do all that much.

The Double is not your typical movie, relying on light and shadow to carry its message through to the audience. It’s mainly an introspective story, about growing up, confidence and being the person that you want to be. It’s not, by any means, an easy task to grow and achieve your ideal you. Along the way, it will be fraut with emotional highs and lows, barriers and tears. But it’s worth it, as Simon proves. You can stop the parts of you that you don’t like in its tracks. You just have to take that plunge.

Rating

I’m not good at subtle movies, but this one, upon reflection, is pretty good and clever.

Should I watch this?

In truth, it is a little bit depressing, particularly in its visual character, but it does at least give you hope and ideas for the future.

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