Simon James, a timid man in a dreary, grey high-rise world is ignored by colleagues and superiors alike at his deadening office job, which is extra painful when it comes to Hannah – the girl of his dreams – who works in the copy room. But then his department hires someone new, James Simon. He looks exactly like Simon, but almost everyone takes to him straight away. What starts out as friendship between the two doubles quickly takes a sinister turn.
Based on Dostoyevsky’s eponymous novel, director Richard Ayoade has created a dystopian alternative reality in which Simon threatens to be crushed in a Kafkaesque manner by an impersonal society in which everyone’s just a number.
Ayoade is proud of his influences – Terry Gilliam’s Brazil being a particularly clear inspiration, but tells a very idiosyncratic and extremely contemporary tale. What’s left of you, if everyone’s the same?