- Movie Rating -

Dual (2022)

| April 15, 2022

Up to this point, I have been like many in regards to actress Karen Gillian in that I have only known her for her (as of this writing) four appearances in the MCU as Nebula, the tortured quasi-villainous sister to Gamora.  Given the dark, conflicted nature of that role, I had wondered what else she had up her sleeve and what she would reveal outside of Disney’s juggernaut property.   Dual is a movie that reveals her gift for comedy, dark comedy.  The fact that she plays two roles and both seem to imbued with almost complete separate personality traits says a lot about what she can do with a role. 

The film takes place in a very near future where things haven’t changed that much except that medical science has reached the point where cloning is not only perfected but done while you wait (it takes about an hour, like LensCrafters).  Gillian plays Sarah, a young woman who is told, without a great deal of devastation, that she has a rare disease that will soon claim her life.  The disease is unnamed but it is so rare that apparently there is only a 2% window for survival.  That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Sarah can have herself cloned as a means to save her family and friends the heartache of losing her.  After some reluctance, she agrees.  The Sarah Double emerges and quickly moves into Sarah’s life – and all too quickly into the arms of her boyfriend Peter ().

What happens after that, I won’t say.  I’ll just say that it’s a development that leaves the Sarah Double at a massive inconvenience to Sarah’s life.  The two are forced to develop a functional relationship that is not only bizarre but also, it turns out, illegal.  Out of this comes a performance – or performances – from Gillian that are to be admired.  She creates Sarah and the Sarah Double as two distinct personalities, not a wide gulf but enough that we can easily tell them apart.  The Double actually begins to form an intellect that Sarah does not seem to possess.

The visual effect is quite impressive, putting the actress in the room with herself in a way that makes us forget that both are performed by the same actress.  Yes, there is an obvious computer effects but she is convincing enough that she blurs the line and we forget the effect itself.

What I liked about the film was its dark humor.  This is one of those movies in which the dialogue is very funny but the delivery of the dialogue is even funnier.  Everyone speaks in a flat tone and spills blatant pieces of information without an apparent mindfulness of social propriety.  Sarah’s doctor, in particular, speaks in clipped sentences like she’s learned human speech only by reading it.  The effect is like a long Monty Python sketch with the energy turned down to 3.

Obviously (and this has been pointed out in other reviews) there are a lot of questions and issues that such a situation would bring about.  What would you do if you had a double that you couldn’t get rid of?  What kind of relationship would you form with your double?  Would your friends and family take to the double and forget about you while you were dying in a hospital?  Would anyone attend your funeral?  Also, how is cloning possible in an hour?  But, truthfully, I prefer Dual as a dark comedy.  I liked the dialogue, I liked Gillian’s performance, I liked the flat tone of the whole movie.  It’s strange and a little curious, but also very funny at the same time.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(2022) View IMDB Filed in: Drama, Sci-Fi/Fantasty