The Double (15)
IF George Orwell was a fan of surreal humour then 1984 might look a bit like The Double.
Richard Ayoade’s follow-up to his directorial debut, Submarine, is full of dark corridors, clunky 80s-style computers and pedantic security officers.
It is a black comedy about an office clerk whose life is usurped slowly but surely by a doppelgänger – both are played by The Social Network’s Jesse Eisenberg, who seems to be having a lot of fun in this dual role.
But while Simon is timid and withdrawn, James is confident and charming and has no problems stealing Simon’s ideas and love interest, Hannah (Stoker’s Mia Wasikowska).
Meanwhile, Simon’s co-workers fail to see the resemblance between the pair – or do not care.
It is as if The IT Crowd actor Ayoade has entered Orwell’s dystopian world and given it a wicked sense of humour.
But it is also interesting that the film is based on a Dostoyevsky novel, first published in 1846.
The story’s setting is updated but the exploration of personality and its dig at stifling bureaucracy are just as relevant now as they were in the 19th century.
And you can also expect plenty more of Ayoade’s inventive camera work and editing which made the excellent Submarine stand out.