If you haven’t seen Nocturnal Animals yet, I suggest that you stop reading this blog entry. Don’t worry it’ll still be on my website for you to read at a later date. However, if you have seen the movie chances are you know what I mean when I say “Wow”.
It is heart pounding almost from start to finish, and it will leave you guessing up to the end. What an ending this movie has. After watching it the first time, I could easily see why it won the “Grand Jury Prize” at the 73rd Venice International Film Awards, along with being nominated for a few Golden Globes. Starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, I do recommend this movie to almost anyone. Obviously, it might not be appropriate for younger children.
What sets this movie apart from the others is its plot. While it seems complicated, it’s not. There are two timelines in progress simultaneously, and I think this is where the confusion occurs. One timeline is set in the “real world”, while the other is the manuscript. Once again I suggest that you stop reading if you haven’t seen the film or read the book “Tony and Susan”.
Edward and Susan are the names of the two major characters that were once married. After cheating on Edward and leaving him for her current husband, Susan has recently come to the realization that she is miserable with the choices she’s made in her life. After receiving an advanced copy of Tony’s manuscript, Susan begins to realize that it is loosely based on their former life.
The plotline for the book does take up the majority of the screen time, and it is a wild ride. It is a story about the kidnapping and murder of a man’s wife and child. It deals with revenge and justice or at least a slightly skewed version of it, though I will say that I’m glad that Tony survives in the book.
What we don’t find out until the end is that the book is Edward’s way of getting revenge on his ex-wife. Not only did she leave him for another man, but she also had an abortion to ensure that the divorce would go smoothly. Edward used the deaths of Tony’s wife and daughter in the book to tell Susan to know that she still wasn’t forgiven. The truly tragic part comes when Susan realizes that she made a huge mistake, and contacts Edward to arrange a meeting. While she is anxiously waiting to see him, Edward makes the conscious decision to stand her up. This ensures that she realizes that the choices she’s made in life have truly left her all alone.