There was always a risk I wasn’t going to like The Double. I tried (and failed) to watch director Richard Ayoade’s début Submarine, and I cannot stand Jesse Eisenberg. And this film has two of him. Two! I gave it a go anyway, but it was essentially a doomed endeavour. I really didn’t like The Double.
Set in a gloomy world that reminded me a little of 1984 or Brazil, The Double follows Simon James (or is it James Simon, I already can’t remember). A dour office clerk and all-round sad sack, he’s over-looked by his boss, co-workers and even his own mum, things take a turn for the worse when his doppelgänger shows up. The guy has the same face but is (or is apparently perceived to be) charismatic (although I don’t see it) and charming, instantly winning everyone over, and further overshadowing James Simon/Simon James or whatever his name is.
That’s about it. I liked the style of the film, the creeping sense of paranoia and helplessness, and the casting of so many familiar faces. Unfortunately though, I really still just cannot abide Eisenberg, I didn’t think there was enough depth to the characters and the ending left me cold.
This is a real shame because I really enjoy Ayoade’s acting. Have you seen The IT Crowd? The guy is hilarious! Maybe his next directorial outing will be more my cup of tea.