The story is about a history professor living in Toronto, Canada, who discovers he has a duplicate of himself living in the city, a doppelganger.
The film opens with a strange sequence of nude women dancing around a table with a silver buffet server in the center. When the lid is lifted, out comes a large, hairy spider which one of the dancer’s seems to about impale with her high heel. Weird.
The whole movie is weird. Jake accidentally discovers his doppelganger while viewing a rented movie. He investigates the movie’s cast to learn the actor’s name, the one who is his identical twin and then he finds him, meets with him and they end up exchanging places in their lives. Why do they agree to this? Curiousity? Challenge?
Based on the novel The Double by Jose Saramago, the premise of the movie is intriguing but it leaves more questions unanswered than resolved. The film seems to be more of an opportunity to explore the author’s sexual fantasies, undetected infidelity by role switching. Again, there are too many unresolved questions: why didn’t the women suspect the men as being imposters much earlier? Why was the married woman so eager to be unfaithful? The movie ends with the married woman shown as a room sized hairy spider? Why? What does it mean? “What a tangled web we weave…” I don’t know!
The premise of the movie may be intriguing but for some reason or other, I was not attracted to the movie at all. I seemed to be asking more questions without getting any explanations. The acting for Jake Gyllenhaal may have been a tour de force, playing two roles with subtle differences but yet with understated similarities. But again, I did not appreciate it. Maybe it was too subtle for me, too underplayed. Again, I don’t know.
However, I could not stop watching the movie for two reasons: the heavier one was my anticipating explanations for the many questions I was posing mentally; for me, it was much more fun to try to identify the locations where the film was shot in Toronto. That part was enjoyable.
In short, I think renting this movie is an absolute waste of about 2 hours, unless you like the weird and unusual and enjoy making up answers to a story as it unfolds before you. This kind of film story development is not to my taste. I don’t want to do the work. I want to be entertained.
I did not like this movie at all.