Dual (2022)
June 14, 2022 6:28 AM - Subscribe

A terminally ill woman (Karen Gillan) opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.

Currently streaming in the US on AMC+.
posted by DirtyOldTown (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wonderful performance from Gillan, playing against herself, and the skeezy personal combat trainer played by Aaron Paul does not go the way you expect it to. The ending credits are somewhat unsettling as you process what you watched, but at 94m runtime, its a quickie.
posted by Molesome at 7:51 AM on June 14, 2022

Gillan is great, Paul is great, but I found this long at an hour and a half. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more as the episode of Black Mirror it seemed to want to be.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:23 AM on June 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Such a relief when Aaron Paul's character just wanted dance lessons.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:09 AM on June 14, 2022

The first four fifths of the description had me picturing a sensitive, maybe emotional and perhaps even a little sad exploration of interesting issues. I wonder what other movies could do with a court mandated dual to the death? Kramer vs Kramer? Gallipoli? Brokeback Mountain? Pretty Woman?
posted by Sparx at 5:12 PM on June 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

I will say I thought the dance lesson scene was really great; it's the main reason I'm glad I watched the movie.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:35 PM on June 14, 2022

This is low key hilarious. Interesting way they explored the topic, and the background worldbuilding is cute in a Kafkaesque way.

Fitting role for Gillan.

Fitting that it was filmed in Finland. The dialogue writers are my kind of people.
posted by porpoise at 8:51 PM on June 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

This is not the first time Gillian has gone up against herself. In an episode of Dr Who she also had to take herself on, albeit in that case her other self is older.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:05 AM on June 15, 2022

I did not anticipate how funny this would be.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:05 AM on June 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't quite understand why double Sarah would want to pretend to be original Sarah as a trick. To throw an investigation off, I suppose, though it felt like the double Sarah was not actually any good at pretending to be original Sarah, so that might be a bad idea. Originally I thought the double did it alone as an excuse to get away from Peter and her mom, but it seems not. Kind wanted it to be a double fakeout as well, but alas.

I think I liked it better than IMDB's 5.8 rating.
posted by fleacircus at 11:09 PM on June 18, 2022

Agreed with your feel of under-ratedness, but it is super slow and the aftermath is better than the climax.

I think that cloneSarah (randomly) considered and executed the poison route - which was Chekoved in the interview scene between origSarah and Trent on desensitization (where Sarah gets "poisoning" as the cause wrong).

But yeah, a little weak there.

I liked cloneSarah being more popular because of her naivete and then immediately becomes disillusioned when confronted with daily reality and approaches origSarah's disillusionment - but goes hardcore cynical instead.
posted by porpoise at 12:53 AM on June 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

The part I don't get is why, after the murder, she would pretend to be original Sarah. Peter and her mom seemed happy to see her when she showed up at the duel — which they wouldn't have been with real Sarah lol — so they were in on it. But why the switcheroo? I mean it makes narrative sense of course, both just in terms of like, when two twins go into the woods and only one comes out, you kinda gotta have a trick about which one came back; but also it makes sense because the twist is that double Sarah becomes original Sarah after all with some kind of terrible gravity. I guess I just needed one line somewhere about how the original still has some greater legal right or something.
posted by fleacircus at 4:06 PM on June 19, 2022

Duplicate Sarah could break down just because she hates the disguise; she wound up trapped as original Sarah after all, which is not what she wanted, so I don't think the mom's phone call is indicative.

Even if you think original Sarah came out of the woods, there's still the question of why would the double pretend to be the original to consider, because that would be the fiction that original Sarah is creating.

The reasons I think it was duplicate Sarah who came out of the woods: narrative signalling of blood from the mouth; it seems weird that original Sarah would think of pretending to be duplicate Sarah pretending to be original Sarah out of the blue; Peter and her mother seemed to be in on it based on how they reacted at the duel so wow lucky guess; they'd shown original Sarah moving on from Peter and her mom so I don't think there's a reason she'd want to pretend to be the double (though she does make bad decisions...). It just feels shakier if it's a fakeout on top of a fakeout.

Hm, I suppose a reason for duplicate Sarah to pretend to be original Sarah could be that when she emerges from the woods, she's got to do something about Sarah's car, and she she's got to get to the duel.
posted by fleacircus at 12:38 AM on June 20, 2022

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