Thursday, 23 October 2014

I'm like Pinocchio, a wooden boy. Not a real boy. And it kills me.

The Double (2013)

I once stated on facebook I want to grow up to be Richard Ayoade. I have, by more than one person, been called Moss like - his character from The IT Crowd (a show im not particularly fond of despite liking it's cast a fair bit). Submarine was one of my favourite films of 2010, his book Ayoade on Ayoade is a terrific read, hugely funny, and with The Double he remains a smart, interesting film maker though it's not quite the slam dunk of his first effort.
It certainly plays to the right audience in me though. Concerning itself with a less than dynamic character who doesn't understand the world around him, doesn't exude confidence or charisma. The universe seems a system of rules designed to befuddle him, whilst everyone else follows them with ease. Interactions are painful exercises in saying the wrong thing and Jesse Eisenberg is perfect at capturing this hapless idiot as well as the more brash doppelganger that seems to just get how life works.
The rest of the cast is filled with interesting faces (Wallace Shawn, always a pleasure on screen), though not all get much too do, Mia Wasikowska continues to pick fascinating movies and is a haunting offbeat presence.
The film does carry a lot of echoes, both in it's repetitive narrative and more metatextually - it comes off as a nod to Gilliam's Brazil certainly but is it's own beast. Not nearly as likeable as Submarine, it has a cold, off putting awkward momentum (as it should), mirroring the protagonist and sometimes seems more like an exercise in controlling style and content (very ably) than of delivering entertainment.

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