Nocturnal Animals

A writer’s ultimate revenge on his reader.

DIRECTOR: Tom Ford

CAST: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher

Nocturnal Animals, adapted from the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, revolves around Susan Morrow’s fascination with Nocturnal Animals, a novel dedicated to her and written by her ex-husband, Edward Sheffield. How the novel starts affecting her real life and how the novel changes her perspective on her life, forms the rest of the film.

The film primarily revolves around the theme of revenge and how it can be delivered with violence as well as by creating an emotional void, a type of retribution that is very rarely explored in cinema. It also delves into the conflict between idealism and reality, and the changes it brings about in the personal lives of the people. The structure of a novel-within-a-film has been used as a plot device as opposed to a narrative one, which distinguishes this film from the other films that have used a similar structure.

The performances by the entire cast is excellent and believable, especially Jake Gyllenhaal who was equally convincing as both the novel’s titular character Tony Hastings and as the intriguing Edward Sheffield, seen only through Susan’s guilt-ridden memories. The tone of the film was maintained throughout even though it was switching between tasteful-yet-empty Los Angeles and the deserted-but-gritty Texas.

If you find yourself asking were there any good films that dropped off your radar this year, this film is one of the answers to that question.

Watch the trailer of this film here: