Always a fan of unusual films starring great actors in odd worlds, I knew I would be a great fan of The Double. Based on a Dostoyevsky novel, but set in some parrallel universe/dystopian future where no one seems to care about anything, people are just numbers and work is everything. Simon works at a government agency as a clerk, and is a nobody, never recognized for his efforts or even remembered by those who seem him daily. He spends his time off following the life of girl next door, quirky artist Hannah, whom works in the copy room. He makes any excuse to see her, and get to know more about her, but never dares to take anything further. One day a new person joins the company, and no one but Simon can see it is his double. The new Simon has everything the original lacked, charisma, confidence, and guts.
The film is very interesting, I feel like the characters were well done (haven’t read the book however, so cannot compare in terms of to the original characters), although Hannah clearly fits the Manic Pixie Dream Girl figure down to a T. Despite the critique around these type of female characters I always find myself drawn to their uniqueness and mystique, which is of course exactly what the creators want you to feel. I am such a huge fan of Mia Wasikowska though, that I can’t really just dismiss her role as another quirky girl that the lead falls in love with due to her helping him discover himself. Hannah is important to the story and she has some really powerful scenes regarding her own inner happenings. I have had some issues with Jesse Eisenberg since The Social Network, as he always seems to play the same cold and quick-talking person. To see him act as two opposite individuals was impressive, I felt he was believable as the two separate characters of Simon, although of course on of them was…a cold, quick-talking person. I really loved the way the entire work place was set up, from the murky colours to the use of “the Colonel” as some distant boss/leader that every employee must worship in a way through their work.
Lucky for you both the films I am recommending are currently on Netflix! So this next film is another one starring Mia Wasikowska. It isn’t the type of film I would normally put high on the to watch list, but Mia is the type of actress I feel can hold up such a single person-centred film. The film is based on the life story of Robyn Davidson, a woman who decides to walk across West Australian deserts, about 1700 miles, with some camels and her dog. From the trailer it seems to be a story about a journey, the people she meets and the situations she encounters. I imagine we also find out more about the reason of this unusual trek, and watch as Robyn develops along the way. If you like films like Into the Wild, I think this will be a good film for you.
Also, I wasn’t even going to review this, but for all Mia fans who want to see where she perfected that silent, curious stare I highly recommend you watch the creeptastic psychological thriller Stoker. It will make you feel great uncomfort, but is so. So. So. Good. It is probably my new favourite scary movie, full of amazing shots. You can tell every detail in this film was thought through, to the last shoe lace. It is aesthetically wonderful, and I had to include some of the great fan art I found when searching for the poster.
Mia stars as India Stoker, who’s father is killed in a car accident. She lives with her controlling mother and the tension between them is at breaking point following the recent tragedy. Out of the blue India’s uncle appears at the door. He quickly becomes a huge part of the two women’s lives. India, is keen to learn more about her father’s estranged brother, while her mother seeks attention and comfort in his arms. The relationships in this movie are intense and things have a tendency to get uncomfortable for the viewer. The director, Park Chan-wook, is however very skilled at balancing the disturbing with the sweet, the gentle with the violent and the grotesque with the beautiful. Truly a great movie, and aesthetically, it’s a dream.