A difficult film to review here as right from the outset it doesn’t fit into a particular genre that well – it could just as easily be classed as a documentary, as it could a political thriller.
While there were many enjoyable moments, it seemed to strike an uneasy balance between providing lessons on history, paranoia, fear and politics; focusing particularly on the space race and the politics-of-fear culture present through the Cold War. For me it felt a little too pointed and even pretentious trying to draw parallels between Hitchcock’s fear of his double and the various pairings it drew attention to, including Nixon and Khrushchev.
Some amusing moments were created through the use of coffee adverts, though I’m still not sure if that was the intended reaction, and also Hitchcock’s introductions and apparent dislike (even fear) of television as a medium provided some light relief from the full-on political nature that the film developed.
I came out feeling that if I knew more Hitchcock films it would probably have helped; ‘The Birds’ provides the basis on which the story is built throughout along with multiple short clips from some of his other films. That said, it didn’t lose my attention even though I wasn’t familiar with all the quotes.
Without wishing to be particularly damning, I think it is well worth another view (if only to try and spot more of the references) but on an initial viewing left me feeling a bit dazed and confused as to what the film was trying to tell us, except that it was unmistakeably an odd and even slightly disturbing film about Hitchcock.
Double Take (2009): 3/5