The Double

The Double

(2014)

Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in this comedy and existential nightmare, based on the Dostoevsky novella, about a man who finds his life being usurped by his doppelganger... From actor/writer/director Richard Ayoade, his second feature after 2010's Submarine. Chris O'Dowd, Ayoade's co-star from The IT Crowd, also features.... More

"'You're in my place'. So begins meek Simon's descent into a nightmare while on his way to work. Simon is referring to his usual seat on the subway, but it's a phrase with worrying echoes. Because the man occupying Simon's seat looks exactly like him: a double. Ayoade updates the nineteenth-century Russian story to explore timeless anxieties about who we really are. When Simon (Eisenberg) gets to work he finds that this double has usurped his tenuous position in the company. Routinely humiliated by his boss (Wallace Shawn), the neurotic Simon now has to deal with a doppelgänger that is everything he isn't: confident, charming, successful, superficial." (Toronto International Film Festival) Hide

Flicks Review

The Double is a bold and stylised pairing of Ayoade and Dostoevsky. Jammed in a cramped mechanised workplace under more orange and blue lighting than you have ever seen in your life, Jesse Eisenberg is a skittish wee man who becomes even more skittish when his identical sass-pot shows up and starts Tyler Durden-ing his life.... More

Richard Ayoade uses the surrealist, borderline sci-fi scenario to skilfully unearth the very real struggle of forging an identity, or at least trying not to be a ghost. There are many hilarious gags and performances (the TV show within the film is spectacular), but the film is also full of devastatingly sad moments of loneliness that will leave you feeling like a wooden Pinocchio.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY JackWallace superstar

Based on the 1846 Russian novel written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Richard Ayoade's black comedy The Double is unique, imaginative and brilliant. Think Wes Anderson meets Brazil & Being John Malkovich. Set in an almost nightmarish dystopian world, Simon James is a shy, stuttering clerk working for a giant corporation. Nobody ever notices Simon even though he has worked at the company for seven years. It's as if he's a ghost. His life then takes a bizarre turn when the new employee James Simon... More arrives. James looks and sounds exactly like Simon. But despite being his exact lookalike, James is everything Simon isn't, confident and charismatic. Choosing Jesse Eisenberg to play the roles of Simon & James was ideal casting. He plays both characters with perfection. Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn also star and Chris O'Dowd makes a small appearance. The surreal, highly stylized production design is gorgeous. The bleak and idosyncratic The Double makes Richard Ayoade a true talent to look out for.Hide


The Press Reviews

84% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Draws on cinema's rich history of paranoia, absorbing the lessons of Welles, Lynch, Gilliam, Polanski; even Charlie Kaufman. But this is no mere copy. It's a stark, comic original. Full Review

  • A rigid, one-joke movie that feels hard pressed to sustain any sort of momentum. Full Review

  • Mirrors aspects of Gilliam, Gondry and the Coen brothers' Hudsucker Proxy... Ayoade uses sound rhythmically, builds farce and tragedy out of the simplest devices. Full Review

  • Has enough individuality, imagination and idiosyncratic invention to identify it as a true original. Full Review

  • Shows the directorial skill – and daring – of a major player, even if it can’t quite escape being swallowed by its influences. Full Review

  • Finds a man so unable to live his life that a twin-like stranger has to show up to do it for him... the heavily stylized film further demonstrates the actor's ability to create self-contained worlds behind the camera. Full Review

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