The Double sees Jesse Eisenberg thumping his two favourite masks – milksop and scumbag – together as if they were a pair of cymbals.
This doppelgänger nightmare is something we should want to digest slowly, like a python gulping down a sheep. But while Ayoade infuses the movie with constantly-popping humour, he fails to explain why we should care about his characters.
The real star of this film is Andrew Hewitt’s spectacular score. It has a mischievous quality; rich with sniggering string instruments and tones from deep within its piano’s throat, it jangles in the mind long after the plot evaporates.
The Double, stitched together with Kafkaesque leftovers and Orwellian residue, is anchored by two good performances from just one actor. Its themes prove to be heavier than its engagement, however, and you’ll find yourself shrugging off the story the moment you leave the screen.
CAST: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska
DIRECTOR: Richard Ayoade
WRITERS: Richard Ayoade (based on a story by Fyodor Dostoevsky)
SYNOPSIS: A comedy centered on a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his dopplegänger.