Now here’s a good candidate for movies boxed 20 for $5. Not that it’s bad, it just is extremely slow and poorly shot. OK, I guess that is the definition of bad. However, it is partially redeemed by a fascinating (if unoriginal) plot and the performance of the increasingly reliable Jake Gyllenhaal.
A colleague recommends a movie to history professor Adam (Gyllenhaal). In the background of one scene, he sees an actor who looks exactly like himself. This set-up has been used in countless movies and TV shows. Fortunately it is a classic trope, often involving the nature of reality or identity, which never goes stale. Unless it is the one about Peter Brady.
Adam tries calling the actor Anthony and has a very awkward conversation with his wife. Later he has an awkward conversation with Anthony, which seems to be progress.
Then Anthony takes the initiative and calls Adam to set up a meeting. Anthony’s pregnant wife snoops on Adam at his school. Finally the stalking reaches its apex when Anthony takes Adam’s wife away for the weekend, and Adam pays the pregnant Ms. Anthony a visit and pretends to be Adam.
Anthony gets into an accident with Mrs. Adam, and Mrs. Anthony figures out that she is in bed with a doppelganger. Then some really crazy shit happens that I can’t even begin to convey.
There is a really good Twilight Zone in here somewhere. And not even a 4th Season TZ padded out to an hour. This is a 30 minute episode slowed down to fill 90 minutes and shot all in sepia tones. Only my suckertude for this kind of story kept me interested.
- Based on a novel entitled The Double by Jose Saramago. Coincidentally, there was another movie released in 2013 also entitled The Double, based on a Dostoevsky novel. Still not as confusing as The Returned.
- I have another DVD based on a Saramago novel entitled Blindness. That one was part of an 8 movies for $5 collection. Hermano can’t catch a break.