The Double

Director: Richard Ayoade
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 1.0

Awful, derivative adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella has a lowly, meek office worker Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) encountering his 'double' James (also played by Eisenberg), who is confident, manipulative ... and preparing to steal the charming Hannah (Mia Wasikowska) away from him. As notably bleak and archaic as the sets/props are (Ayoade clearly studied Gilliam's Brazil), the brilliance of Dostoyevsky's story is lost in the hands of someone who knows a lot about the movies but little about the drudgery of bureaucratic desk-work or even human psychology - in this, the inner struggle of Eisenberg's character meeting his 'other half' turns into 'quirkiness' instead of a study of psychic despair. Too often it reminded me of (the considerably lighter) Youth in Revolt, which had Michael Cera playing two roles: that movie isn't substantially better but Cera is slightly more adroit at doing the awkward/suave switcheroo.