THE DOUBLE | REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

THE DOUBLE is easily my biggest mind f*ck film of the year, and thanks to Madman Films not only is out now on DVD and Blu Ray but we have 3x copies to giveaway. Can’t wait to see this one again. One of Eisenbgerg’s best movies. Find out how to win after you read the Salty review. Rock on!

REVIEW FROM MAY 2014

THE DOUBLE is a very different film. A film that confused me, sometimes frustrated me, it made me work for it, but it is also a beautifully made work of art that blew my mind. This film will not be for everyone, it will be for people who love superb works of art that leave you thinking for days after you have seen it and will leave you wanting for me. My Tweet walking into this film was “One Eisenberg can do your head in but two of them looks epic,” and epic in achievement this film is. THE DOUBLE  is released from Madman Films, is rated M and runs for 93mins.

 

THE DOUBLE MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
THE DOUBLE | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | JESSE EISENBERG MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

THE DOUBLE is a dystopian mind fuck in the tradition of French films, DELICATESSEN, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN and other works by the amazing film maker Jean-Pierre Jeunet. It is based on a novella from Dostoevsky and is being loved or hated by other critics for being similar to or hacked from BRAZIL, ERASERHEAD, THE TENTANT and the collected works of Aki Kaurismäki and/or David Lynch, I am astounded no one has made the comparisons in visualisation to to Jeunet and would also like to point out Dostoevsky’s THE DOUBLE was written in 1846.

Throw in a very 1984 styled film with the same psychological study of the human psyche as BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and you are in for something amazing, have it directed by Richard Ayoade who made the superb SUBMARINE and all I can say is be prepared for unusual. The film is about Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg), a timid young man, working for a mysterious government organization, 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, copy room girl Hannah (Mia Wasikowska). Undermined wherever he turns it appears his life ccouldn’tget worse – that is until the sudden arrival of a new co-worker, James Simon. James is both Simon’s exact physical double and his opposite – confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon’s horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.

 

THE DOUBLE SIMON AND TELESCOPE IMAGE
THE DOUBLE | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | SIMON (JESSE EISENBERG) LOOKING THROUGH HIS TELESCOPE

 

This psychological study and satire of identity is hysterical at times, the complete over the top treatment of Simon and the complete love and worship of James kept the audience laughing for most of the film. Imagine walking around and everyday being ignored or forgotten by anyone you come across, basically being a nonentity. But really, we, the audience were just being bullies, ganging up on the timid weaker guy and joining with James in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Simon is the weak, James is the strong, is James actually Simon? How can this be when the other people in the story see them both and communicate with both of them? Is the entire film set inside a pod of a human battery cell in the Matrix? Is everything just in Simon/James’ head? These are the questions that still keep bouncing around in my (possible lack of) intelligence vacuum. But this is also what makes the film so good, it does not spell it out for you and while the majority of the viewing audience will want closure, I am loving the frustration that while there was closure, the explanation was not there and I felt more confused by the ending. We love and feel for Simon, we get frustrated he will not “grow a pair” and have some confidence, but then we love James for having this confidence, but if Simon and James are the same person in reality, then James’s side will always win, again – see Darwin. In a Hollywood ending we see Simon grow that pair and slaughter James in rage, we then see that James, or Simon, never existed and it was all in one person’s head ala Fight Club, but in this we just get a conundrum that I cannot share :). There is no answer to the question of WHY?

 

THE DOUBLE SIMON HANNAH DINNER IMAGE
THE DOUBLE | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | SIMON (JESSE EISENBERG) AND HANNAH (MIA WASIKOWSKA) EAT DINNER WHILE A GORILLA LOOKS ON

 

These are easily Eisenberg’s best and least annoying roles to date. He is great in this film and he suits playing opposite ends of the psych scale of himself. Wasikowska is a marvelous choice to play opposite him in this and her weirdness and unexplained loneliness was so intriguing and made just want to watch to find out about her. And one of my favourite parts of the film was having Wallace “Inconceivable” Shawn as the superior in messed up place of employment to both Simon and James. I was just screaming for him to say “inconceivable” in this film, he was nearly playing his PRINCESS BRIDE character in an alternate universe. But this was something I think Ayoade did, collect people that can be seen as somewhat “freakish” – when you have Chris O’Dowd playing a Doctor, who appears to be the most normal in a film, then it is odd. Cathy Moriarty and Sally Hawkins own the small roles of Kiki and the Receptionist – they are gold support cast and then having a small role to SUBMARINE lead star (and currently Ass Juice in BAD NEIGHBOURS) Craig Roberts just rounded out the oddity, cast and my love of this film.

 

THE DOUBLE HANNAH (MIA WASIKOWSKA) IMAGE
THE DOUBLE | THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW | HANNAH (MIA WASIKOWSKA)

 

But it is not purely the actors that make this film oddball and dystopian alternate universe-like. It is also the superb cinematography and lighting from Erik Wilson (THE IMPOSTER, SUBMARINE), every scene is like a stage set and viewing into a diorama. It looks so good I would have pretty much any frame of this film hanging on my wall as a piece of art. But a lot of this art comes straight from Denis Schnegg, the most amazing art director who has things like MILLIONS (one of my favourite films), SUNSHINE, BREAKFAST ON PLUTO, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, NEVER LET ME GO (another of my favourite films) and 28 DAYS LATER on his CV. The guy makes stuff look good and in this he excels.  A superb ensemble of talent makes this moving piece of awesome.

It will not be for the overtly commercial loving film viewer. But if you love to analyse film, and appreciate art, then this film and it’s trip into identity is a must see.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to MADMAN FILMS to win one of the 3X BLU RAYS of THE DOUBLE you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite mind-f*ck film and why?  Mine would probably go to THE GAME with Michael Douglas (LOVE THAT MOVIE) although ETERNAL SUNSHINE FOR THE SPOTLESS MIND is also on the money.

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

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