A story that runs in parallel between reality and fiction; the world where love and revenge come hand in hand. This is Nocturnal Animals, a neo-noir psychological thriller film that stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It is directed by Tom Ford and this film has been called one of the best films of the year. We are here to check it whether it really deserves the claim. Follow us below!
The basic premise is about Susan, whose marriage with her husband has begun to deteriorate with him cheating on her recently. One day, she receives a novel that is written by her ex-husband Edward, who dedicates it to her. Upon reading the novel, she realises that the narrative seems to hold a connection between their relationship and something darker is being hinted. What will she discover in the end?
This is a film that runs two different narratives within two different realities. One of them is in the real world where Susan experiences weird hallucinations and regret in the real life because of her relationship with Edward, while the other is from the book itself with exactly the same character (Edward writes himself into the book as Tony). It presents a contrast between two characters portrayed by the same man, yet it also shows similarities between both of them. I love how the director manages to cut the scenes in-between the reality and the fictional world so naturally, as if both blends into one narrative. As the settings for both worlds are very contrasting, it helps us to distinguish each world from each other.
Also, the hidden message of the book is presented in the sad music, that seems to be orchestrating the story flow itself. Each piece of music track subtly sets the atmosphere, hinting us the mood and the characters intentions. The actors also did a very good job in their roles, especially Jake Gyllenhaal, who manages to portray two different characters but presenting a weaker but darker side to each of them. One criticism I have is regarding the ending, which I think is suitable, but it could be made more impactful. I felt that the ending seems weak when compared to other parts of the film. It does manage to leave the last hint regarding Edward’s thoughts though.