Bearing in mind that the director and screenwriter for this film was David Cronenberg, a man who puts the man as he is in the foreground in his films, with all his virtues and flaws and with a special emphasis on his emotions, I expected the film typical of him, a film featuring mind games combined with strange, bizarre science and atypical human feelings and relationships.
The plot of the film follows identical twins, Beverly and Eliot Mantle, who are fascinated by the human body from an early age, a special process of reproduction. Over time, they grow into highly regarded gynecologists who are considered top experts in their field. Their connection and similarity is so great that people hardly distinguish them, with Eliot being an entrovert, a misogynist who attends gatherings and has easy contacts with women, while Beverly is an introvert, dedicated to scientific work and very rarely leaves the office. They share everything, even the patients, until actress Claire Level appears. After her, Beverly begins to break down mentally, Eliot tries unsuccessfully to help him, and they both slowly get lost in the identity crisis and the fact that they can’t figure out exactly when one body starts and when another.
All of Cronenberg’s films abound in scenes of the so-called be horror, so this movie is not spared either. The unusual theme is presented in an effective way, although the plot itself is not very easy to explain. The director brilliantly shows his fascination with sexuality in the introductory part, in the gynecological office itself, as well as later, when various instruments come next. The emphasis in the film is on the twins themselves and their relationship, and with great acting, great photography, and disturbing, creepy sounds that, with the breaking of the film, the director effectively evokes their every emotion and thought.
The person who made this film is definitely Jeremy Irons, who had two roles in this film. It’s just amazing to get rid of the impression that the twins aren’t played by two actors, and Irons, even if you don’t like the movie, delights the viewers, especially in scenes when both brothers appear on the screen at the same time. He presented everything perfectly, the weakness of Beverly, the strength of Eliot and the mental breakdowns of both. Geneviève Bujold also provides a great performance, although her role becomes less and less important as the film progresses.
For Cronenberg fans, this is a great film, if not the best, while the average viewer will find it quite strange, at times creepy, but again watchable. Although at first glance it is thought that this will be a simple body horror, this is a great emotional study of the relationship between two identical twins. Jeremy Irons brings an Oscar-worthy performance, and, if for no other reason, it’s worth watching at least because of him.