There’s a new era coming in the world of film. It hasn’t been officially stated yet, so let me be the first person to do so. Films are changing and they are changing for better.
After years and years of
crap films during which the filmmakers focused more on the development of special effects (3D, a lot of frames per second, etc) rather than portraying an interesting and thought-provoking story, year 2013 came. In my opinion, one of the best cinematic year in a very long time. The Oscars line-up was amazing. Every film presented a completely new approach to the topic or/and proven the directors’ technical skills. They were ambitious, provoking and beautifully made. Picking a film out of the bunch which deserved the award seemed simply impossible. I don’t even remember what actually won (don’t take me there), but I know that apart from Gravity, I was happy with every single film there was. But there is another set of films that haven’t been noticed in the mainstream world (how pretentious it sounds, I don’t even want to know) and these films are the ones I want to talk to you about. Actually, one in particular. The Double.
The Double is officially a 2013 film and yet, it only came out last week in the UK. Instead of dwelling on its plot (which is complex and rewarding), I will move straight to the reason why I am writing this post. The Double is perfect.
Just look at it!
Dimmed, depressing colours, frowned foreheads, metallic edges. It is David Lynch meets Berberian Sound Studio. Or better! It is as if Franz Kafka wrote an interpretation of Fyodor Dostoyevski novella and then David Lynch directed it.
Jesse Eisenberg, whom I love no matter what they say, is casted perfectly as Kafkesque individual against the system. The world in the Double is the world of dark absurd. People don’t listen, they just do things they’ve been doing their whole lives simply because…they’ve been doing them their whole lives. Nobody questions anything and nobody seems to notice the absurdity of their situation. When James Simon, Simon James’ double, appears at the Colonel’s factory (I’m not sure how to better describe the place the characters are working at- it is a pointless factory relying on a circular paradox- the film explains it through a short commercial which Simon shows his mother), sooo…when Simon James’ double appears at the Colonel’s human factory (or the factory of humans) nobody notices the similarities between the both. Or rather, everyone notices but nobody cares. Simon is confused, lost and terrified but he is simply told that ‘he is a kind of non person’ and instead of protesting further, he decides to…deal with it. Surprising choice of the main hero isn’t that surprising when we get into the depths of his motives. Simon’s individuality is under threat and the more he fights with it, the more of a non-person he becomes. By attempting to copy his double’s actions and personality, he loses himself, disappears, turns into a ghost.
The Double is a difficult and ambitious film, but how much is worth sitting through with a frowned forehead and boiling brain cells, I can’t express enough. It is provoking and challenging, but also extremely rewarding. Most importantly, it makes Dostoyevski’s story once again alive, and relevant to our modern days. It is a masterpiece.
If my review hasn’t been persuasive, here is a trailer for the Double, which is honey to eyes itself. Bon Apetit!