ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

Quirky, awkward, and compelling, this movie deserves more love.

1. This movie is kind of like Brazil meets Fight Club, as directed by David Lynch.

2. It's based on the classic Russian novella written by Dostoyevsky, but modernized. Sort of.

3. Jesse Eisenberg plays a schmuck named Simon James, who works at a data company. He's ignored by his bosses and coworkers so much that he's kind of disappearing.

4. Then Simon James meets a new coworker, named James Simon, who looks exactly like him, but with the opposite personality. They form an uneasy partnership... until James thinks he's ready to take over for the both of them.

5. This is a black comedy thriller with razor edges that get blacker and sharper every minute.

6. The set pieces and color choices for the movie are inspired, and fit the surreal world that Simon lives in. The sound in this movie is a character all by itself, with industrial soundscapes that remind you of Eraserhead, combined with a beautiful classical score, and some brilliant sound effects (the foley artists should have won some kind of award).

7. It was written and directed by Richard Ayoade, who made the also quirky and and under-appreciated Sumbarine.

8. Since Jesse Eisenberg plays both main characters, the entire movie hinges on him. Lucky for us he's an extremely talented actor, and he brings both Simon and James to awkward, chilling life. It's one of his best performances ever.

9. Most people don't know what to do with movies like this, so they don't do anything with them. And that's too bad. This is a funny and paranoid work of art.

What did you think? Brilliant, or just too weird? Let us know in the comments!!


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