The Double 2013

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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 Simons exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simons horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.

Starring:
Mia Wasikowska, Jesse Eisenberg
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

The Double (2013)

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Jesse Eisenberg, Chris O'Dowd
Director Richard Ayoade
Genres Comedy
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 4 August 2014
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Chris O'Dowd, Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska
Director Richard Ayoade
Genres Comedy
Studio Elevation Sales
Rental release 4 August 2014
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne N on 13 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
If you're after a story with a plot then this isn't for you as there isn't much of one really. However, where the film excels in in visual imagery and scenery for a dystopian world where nothing makes much sense. The main theme is that of a put upon genius who has no social graces or the confidence to get ahead. I couldn't quite get to grips with the meaning of the film if there was one, but I thought maybe it was about him having to create an alter ego for himself in order to get ahead and get the girl. What does hold the viewers attention however, is the acting and camera work together with, as already mentioned the visuals. There is something quite addictive about it that keeps one glued to the screen so that you don't really care too much about plot anyway. It's surreal with a strong David Lynch quality about it. I enjoyed it, but I imagine it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea. If you like David Lynch films then you'll probably love this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Madison on 11 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
Having done little research on this film before seeing it, I didn't know what to expect when I walked into the cinema. This film most certainly goes into my top three films of the year though! What an experience! Perfectly suspenseful and just the right amount of enigmatic. Allusions to some of my other favourite films, such as The Apartment, just tied this beautiful film together. Expertly created and performed, you can tell you are witnessing true talent. Really really a must watch, this film will stand the test of time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S Apple on 18 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the film. On my first viewing I was distracted and bored with the movie but I decided to give it another shot. I liked it in a peculiar way. It was very surreal, funny in places and dark. A lesson in social skills that went awry for one half of the protagonist; it is also a dark tale of ones identity being submerged in a hegemonic world to the point of non existence. It reminded me slightly of the film 1984 with humour mixed in with Terry Gilliam's Brazil. The creativity in the script and the handling of the characters' movement is brilliant not to mention the set design which is vibrant yet bleak. A very good effort.
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Format: Blu-ray
I've now seen two films by the talented Ayodade – the other being his coming of age 'Submarine" - and had a very similar reaction though they are miles apart in style, story and theme.

First, this is a gifted film-maker, who doesn't want to play by the usual rules. Next, he knows how to get off to a great start, build a fascinating world, get you involved with his people, but third, he doesn't quite find ways to make his third acts pay off as interestingly (or powerfully or emotionally) as the first two-thirds of the film promise. In both films the focus drifts to less interesting elements or variations on the stories he's telling.

And last, he needs to lighten up on the too-obvious 'homage's to his cinematic touchstones. In "Submarine" it was (among others) Wes Anderson and "Rushmore". Here the overbearing influences (there are many) are led by Terry Gilliam's "Brazil". There were a large number of design and character choices – while effective - that came close enough that I couldn't help but sit there making comparisons ('Hey, there's Wallace Shawn doing Ian Holm'). And it starts to approach that fine line between inspiration and plagiarism.

That said, there's a lot to like here. The photography is often gorgeous. Jessie Eisenberg does a terrific job in a tough double role – a meek office worker who is suddenly faced with another employee who looks exactly like him. But the new guy has a brash, self-confident personality, everyone loves him, and no one else seems to notice the two are physically exactly alike, right down to their clothes.

This raises interesting questions about personality, perception and reality. Is "James Simon" (the cool one) merely a psychological projection of the nerd, "Simon James"?
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Format: DVD
Essentially, I liked this film. I think I would've preferred to give it 3.5 stars, but Amazon inexplicably can't handle half stars so I've rounded it up to four.

What I enjoyed: the stunning visuals, the ambiguous/demented setting, Eisenberg's incredible performance, the cameos (Paddy Considine! Chris Morris! J MASCIS!!), the fun you can have spotting references to other films. I would advocate watching the picture for Jesse Eisenberg's work alone; he is genuinely remarkable. One might think that having the same actor play two primary characters would be confusing, but it isn't at all; I think that's a testament to Eisenberg's skill and it makes for an interesting and really quite unsettling experience when watching. In terms of the atmosphere, it reminded me of two great films: Norwegian movie The Bothersome Man, which is also set in an indeterminate place & time and features similar themes of loneliness and alienation, and Kontroll, a Hungarian film set in the Budapest metro system.

What I felt was missing: I sort of hate myself for saying this because it's a bit lame, but, well... the main character(s) is/are deeply unlikeable. [Note: I haven't read The Double, though I am a fan of Dostoyevsky and have some sense of how his work tends to proceed. So in particular, I don't know if the movie is a faithful portrayal of the book's main character.] I do feel Dostoyevsky excels at writing unpleasant characters in that he leads the reader to empathize with them. This didn't happen in the movie. It made it very difficult to care when things started to go wrong for our chap. I couldn't work out if we were supposed to care when the double appears and starts screwing up his life: it seems he was doing an excellent job of that himself.
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