You may remember Richard Ayoade from that little British comedy The IT Crowd but since then he’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in the film Neighbourhood Watch along with directing his first film Submarine a story about a young man at school going through childhood pushing to adulthood and his latest dark twisted film The Double.
Starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Mia Wasikowska (Stoker.) It thrusts the audience into some strange dark fantasy world where it’s still the 80’s but some miserable under toned version. Jesse Eisenberg starts off as his usual character in many of his films, he has little power and stands idly giving an awkward tone in every scene like he just doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. He isn’t noticed for all the work he does but yet carries on slowly falling in love with Mia Wasikowska who lives opposite being that strange person always staring across the way at her.
This is all until one day they get someone new at work who is identical looking to Eisenberg yet shares none of the same characteristics. This duplicate is the exact opposite. He’s dark, he’s demanding, he’s up front and in your face but most of all he has the like ability from everyone in the work place. We see his character burst out almost within 5 minutes of seeing him when the two sit opposite in a cafe the original Eisenberg goes to. The original just isn’t sure what he wants to order and when he does they reply their out of what he wants which he just deals with however the new and improved Eisenberg just slams his fist down and demands what he wants. This is almost the perfect scene in the entire film as it demonstrates both their characters from the same person.
The story follows the original as he is pushed around and controlled by the new Eisenberg who is getting everything he wants. It’s all a confusing dark nightmare where your just not sure if he’s going crazy or you the audience are going crazy. The setting is perfect with very dark environments and never seeing the daylight gives it this nightmare substance to it. It feels very similar to Wes Anderson without the brightness and colours in fact it’s as if Wes Andersons films are a dream and this is the horrid nightmare we all want to wake up from with it’s drab lack of colour.
It’s extremely different from Submarine but shares some of that awkwardness between the characters. Ayoade has done it again and is proving himself to be a brilliant British director with this black comedy The Double.