“The Double” is a crazy little psychological thriller sorta comedy drama about an introvert who meets his exact double in appearance and physical features but who is also his complete opposite in personality and temperament. Featuring Jesse Eisenberg in the two roles, this is a wonderfully weird and interesting film about identity and the different ways we interact with each other.
What really sets this movie apart, besides from two great Jesse Eisenberg performances in one movie, polar opposite characters that he is able to portray so well, is the incredible sense of tone and style that Richard Ayoade uses to convey Simon James’ off balanced world, a world which consumes him in rumbling sounds and dirty grey walls, flickering lights and incredibly shitty service, a dark, desolate, depressing city, mostly populated seemingly with octogenarians, and also, I may be mistaken about this, but now that I think about, I don’t even remember one scene set in the daylight. It’s all indoors or outside at night. Gloomy, bleak and depressing as it gets. I mean, really, who has a funeral at midnight? Besides weirdos. And death romantics. (again, weirdos).
Huge chunks of the movie get played out without dialogue as well, which gives it kind of a silent film kind of quality (though there are plenty of sounds and music, etc, not REALLY silent film) – really this is cinema at its most basic, as a lot of character development is derived from just watching a person do something, the way he lives his life, without having to include a bunch of dialogue and exposition, and it is great to watch when someone does it well like here in “The Double.”