The Lookalike is a very recent film - so recent, in fact, that I've not read any reviews of it. I wondered if this was a bad sign, and the fact that the cast was completely unknown to me (this is probably just my ignorance, as the actors do a very good job) didn't help. My anxieties were compounded when I gleaned that it's a story with a plot which revolves around drug dealing. I read a report of an inquest into the death of someone who died from a drug overdose recently, and found the sheer waste of lie and potential to be very sad, and deeply depressing. Drug dealers in films may be marginally less repellent than their real life equivalents, but I usually find stories, whether in the form of a novel or a screenplay, about their world utterly unappealing. So why did I decide to give the film a try?
I suppose it's because I'm fascinated by stories about identity, and the idea of lookalikes is one that has interested me for a long time. Similarly, I'm very interested in twins, especially identical twins, and the very close bond that exists between them. Some of the most interesting books and films I know concern mysteries of identity of one kind or another. I recently watched again an early episode of Taggart that made clever use of the notion of identical twins - though during the Golden Age, Ronald Knox made clear his disapproval of plots that relied on the cheap trickery of introducing a character's twin at the last minute.
Rather to my surprise, I found The Lookalike to be, on the whole, a gripping and entertaining story. It's also convoluted, in a way that I found unexpectedly satisfying. I don't want to say too much about it for fear of giving the main twists away, but briefly two brothers who need to make money in a hurry get involved, separately, with two attractive women, whilst at the same time becoming embroiled in a scam with two very unpleasant gangsters.
One of the gangsters has accidentally killed an attractive young woman who was to be used in a sordid money-making scheme. They need to find her lookalike in order to make sure that the money comes in, and one of the brothers is given the job of finding the unlucky woman. I felt that one character behaved in a self-sacrificing way that was, to me, unbelievable, and this did weaken the film's impact. Nevertheless, it kept me watching from start to finish, and wondering how things would turn out. .Not a masterpiece, but not bad, either.