What is the movie about? :: Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) receives the manuscript of a novel written by her former husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal). It is named Nocturnal Animals after Edward’s special nickname for Susan. After an art gallery show, and while going through a flawed marriage to an unfaithful man and a busy businessman who doesn’t have much for, Hutton Morrow (Armie Hammer), she is disturbed and has almost no sleep during the nights. In a world which seems to have nothing much to her, she hopes for change, and it is brought to her by this book dedicated to her. She becomes completely immersed in the novel, and that also brings back the memories of her with Edward, a relationship which she once considered to be full of love.
The story of the novel :: The novel titled Nocturnal Animals tells the story of a man named Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal) who leads a family of three, including his wife and daughter. He is a calm and peaceful man who comes across three local criminals, Ray (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), Lou (Karl Glusman), and Turk (Robert Aramayo ) during a long trip with his family through the countryside during late night. There is no real reason, but still a confrontation occurs between them and Tony, and his wife Laura (Isla Fisher) and their daughter India (Ellie Bamber) are kidnapped by the young men looking for trouble. Tony is unable to do anything to stop the three men, and somehow manages to get to a nearby farmhouse to call the police for help.
How the novel continues with its tale :: Detective Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon) is assigned to the case of missing women, and as a dedicated officer, begins the investigation rgiht away. There is no clue about the criminals in the beginning, but the corpses of Laura and India are found inside an abandoned building. Tony is angry and frustrated with his inability to protect his loved ones and wishes for vengeance. But soon, he will have his chance, as Bobby is also looking forward to bringing the criminals to justice with what might be his final case. Still, there might not be enough evidence to frame all three of them, and they wonder if the best chance here is to take the law into their hands – but are they ready for the same?
The defence of Nocturnal Animals :: There is beauty and intensity in the way in which this tale is presented to the audience – we get to go through both the tales which are not directly connected to each other, even though deep inside, the same feeling runs through. The incidents in the story within the story is also a reflection of the happenings of the other, as the protagonist losses his wife as well as the child who was aborted, due to his own inability to stop the process, even as he feels that he really could have. It is loss of love and the never ending suffering that is shown in both tales, one violent as it is shown clearly as a simple tale of loss and vengeance, and the other deeply moving inside even though shown less outside.
The claws of flaw :: Nocturnal Animals is surely not a movie for everyone, as it can easily make people stop watching it very early itself. You might feel the need in the opening sequence itself, and it also remains slow for some more time – but surviving these moments is necessary to feel what comes after them, and as we get further in, we understand that this is one of the most different tales of people of our time, and there is a clear reflection of how bad the relationships can go, as what one thinks as love is not always the same, and infatuation and the pretension of love is never really the same as what goes underneath. It is up-to the viewer to get into this movie, and also go deep into its two tales to make things work. It is that kind of a movie which will work the best as long as you keep thinking and connecting all things together. Nocturnal Animals is for the kind of people who connect well, and feel the connection deeply.
Performers of the soul :: Among the cast, it is Amy Adams’ performance that strikes the viewers first, as she is indeed the protagonist of the real world, while Jake Gyllenhaal strikes us hard from the imaginary world inside the novel, which also doesn’t feel less real. After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and before the upcoming Justice League, Amy has one other movie, Arrival, and combined with Nocturnal Animals, make her the one performer to look out for from the last year. It is the character’s fears and insecurities that get best shown here, especially that of turning into her own mother. We know what Jake Gyllenhaal is capable of, and his character goes through suffering not just in the imaginary world, but also in the real one – we remember Enemy too, don’t we? Michael Shannon’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor at 89th Academy Awards and the same for Taylor-Johnson at BAFTA comes as no surprise either.
How it finishes :: Nocturnal Animals is the kind of movie that would have required a lot of skill to bring it through to the audience, and if we think more about the same, a certain amount of skill is required not just on one side, but also on two. It tells us that love is not love just because you had an infatuation during your youth – it is about responsibility, and about being there when the other person needs you the most. You don’t really fall in love just because you think that you do – then you do that with different people too often. It is a lesson that the new generation needs when they are in love just by seeing one side of the one that they love – it is never going to last long, and after knowing that the person who loved might not be the same as the one who is in the marriage, where does the love before marriage stand? So, is it better to start falling in love after marriage? Well, Nocturnal Animals brings different things to ponder about for different people it is that kind of a flick with raw emotions.
Release date: 18th November 2016
Running time: 116 minutes
Directed by: Tom Ford
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Isla Fisher, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Ellie Bamber, Karl Glusman, Robert Aramayo, Graham Beckel, India Menuez, Zawe Ashton, Jena Malone, Kristin Bauer van Straten
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.