The Double Pits Jesse Eisenberg Against Himself In This Crazy New Trailer

By Nick Venable 2014-02-28 18:24:58discussion comments
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With the exception of Akiva Schaffer’s drab 2012 comedy The Watch, I have been a fan of every single thing that actor/writer/director Richard Ayoade has been a part of, and his upcoming comedic thriller The Double, which debuted a new theatrical trailer, could be his most accomplished work yet. Sure, it probably can't top the hilarious insanity of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, but to try would be a waste.

The Double is based on the 1846 novella from Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and stars Jesse Eisenberg as Simon James, just the kind of character you’ve come to expect from an Eisenberg role: withdrawn, shy and soft-spoken. He has a crush on a girl named Hannah, played by Mia Wasikowska, and his job as some kind of government worker is as mundane as the clothes he wears. (His boss is played with gleeful authority by Wallace Shawn.)

But the humdrum is turned into frustrating mystery once the company hires a new worker named James Simon, who happens to be Simon’s doppelgänger and imbues all of the personality traits that Simon only wishes he could exude. There appears to be some attempt at friendship before James flatly decides to take over Simon’s life, starting with his crush.

To me, this trailer couldn’t be more engrossing, combining the eccentric universe of a Terry Gilliam comedy with the dexterous narrative of a David Mamet play. The fact that no one can tell the two men look alike is a wonderful touch, and my fingers are crossed that the plot takes some wicked turns once James’ antagonist side breaks loose. And I really hope the feature itself utilizes the same kind of music heard in the trailer, which sounds independently majestic, if that makes any sense.

My blood pressure always goes haywire for a plotline where a person tries unsuccessfully to prove that he’s not involved with whatever another character is doing. I just want to tell all the other characters to stop and listen. And beyond the actors already listed, this cast is filled out by Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, James Fox, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Cathy Moriarty, Yasmin Paige, and Craig Roberts, whose film debut was in Ayoade’s first film, the low-key coming of age comedy Submarine.

You can catch The Double once or even twice when it hits VOD May 9 to accompany its limited theatrical run. For another tensely enticing look at the film, take a peek at the teaser released a couple of weeks ago.


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