Director Richard Ayoade’s follow-up to his debut, Submarine (2011), is equally grim and bleak in tone, as we follow a worker (Jesse Esienberg) who’s living in a very drab society; everyone around him either puts him down or don’t even recognize his presence. That changes when a new guy is hired at the office who looks exactly like Eisenberg, but is his opposite in every other way. Cineastes have found similarities to Brazil (1985) and Aki Kaurismäki films here, but the drabness is like a wet blanket and there are no characters that make you want to invest emotionally.
2014-Britain. 93 min. Color. Directed by Richard Ayoade. Short Story: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg (Simon James/James Simon), Mia Wasikowska (Hannah), Wallace Shawn (Mr. Papadopoulos), Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige, Cathy Moriarty… James Fox, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Michael Caine. Dostoyevsky’s story was previously filmed as Partner. (1968).