What to do when the aliens arrive is one of the great questions before us, and I don’t just mean in the fictional realm. Humans have been thinking about our introduction since before we ventured into outer space, even going so far as to curate images and sounds of Earth, slap them on a couple gold records, and attach them on the space probes Voyager 1 and 2. The likelihood of these ever being found by intelligent life is minimal, but it’s a pleasant daydream to imagine the utter confusion of anything that might find them.
“Your American ears won’t understand, your eyes will see things that make no sense, but in the end you’ll understand,” DOD Operative Alejandro (Benico Del Toro) Brazen sunlight beats down on the terrain, voiding any visible shadows. Homes and domiciles of the Phoenix desert fill and occupy the frame, and the camera remains momentarily stationary. But then, in an instant, the machinery that captures and reproduces light stirs and begins to pan from right to left across the suburban community; as human beings, FBI agents in full riot gear with guns pointed, to be precise, enter into the picture.
Last year, Denis Villeneuve directed one of the most pleasant surprises of the year with Prisoners, an unrelentingly tense film about child abduction that presented intriguing moral questions while also providing satisfying twists and turns throughout. That filmed starred Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal has teamed up with Villeneuve again in Enemy, a much smaller and much, much more mind-bending film than Prisoners.