Spotlight Film

Dual

Directed by: Riley Stearns

USA/Finland, 2022, 95m

East Coast Premiere

Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Marvel’s “Nebula”) is Sarah, a woman who learns she is dying of a rare illness and agrees to undergo a cloning procedure that will create a “replacement” for her when she’s gone. It will look just like her, and Sarah’s last days will be spent teaching her double how to replace her. But after nearly a year of watching this alternate version insinuate herself into her life, Sarah’s mysterious illness completely vanishes. When she tries to have her clone decommissioned, it refuses to be terminated, and exercises its right to challenge her to a duel to the death, which will be broadcast for a popular TV show. Straddling a line between savage deadpan satire and high-concept storytelling, filmmaker Riley Stearns (“The Cub,” FFF 2013; The Art of Self-Defense) takes us on a sci-fi journey into the ways a catastrophic life-change can force reconsideration of one’s entire existence. Gillan delivers two hilarious performances, and Aaron Paul’s crazy supporting turn as Sarah’s personal combat trainer just adds to the ruthless, deeply cynical, and jet-black humor of this darkly off-kilter comedy.

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