This 2016 film was produced and directed by Tom Ford. As his first ever screenplay, he has really made it memorable and gripping. I was so desperate to see this film as I had been so intrigued by the trailer.
You can view the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1Ii1LjyFU . Nocturnal Animals is also available to view at most cinemas.
The scene opened up to an art gallery exhibition, displaying naked large women in various positions. Susan, the gallery owner, looked stunning, but there was something about her that did not seem right.She returned home to a large, simplistic house and to a husband who was equally good looking, yet they were unhappy and wanting different things.
Out of the blue, Susan was sent a movie script that was written by her ex husband, Edward. The script, titled “Nocturnal Animals” brought back memories for Susan as that was what he used to call her when they were together.
The script followed a family going away for the weekend, consisting of Tony (the father), Marfa (the wife) and their daughter. Their road trip was leading them down a long isolated road, with little signal. At this point, I had a bad feeling that something would happen and not long after this they caught up with two cars, which were blocking each lane. Tony was getting quite agitated by this and Marfa was trying to calm him down.
Tony tried to get past the two cars, and while he was was level with them, he saw that they were all smoking and messing around. The two cars started to play a dangerous game of dodgems and knocked his car off the road. One of the drivers approached the car, and were adamant that he had caused the damage to his car.
At this point Marfa and his wife were asked to get out the car while the strangers offered to fix the flat tyre, despite their violent nature. They wanted Tony to come with them to the police station and report the accident – and requested that his wife and child were driven in their car, while he was accompanied by one of their men in his. He refused and in response the men grabbed his wife and daughter and drove away with them.
Tony was asked to drive into a desert off the main road. When asked to get out the car, he was left, while the man drove away. I felt so sorry for Tony as he was stick in the middle of nowhere, unaware of where his wife and daughter were. He eventually got to the police after walking to the main road and towards a house. The police investigated the case with him and when he backtracked his steps, near where he was deserted, he saw them….
At this point in real time, Susan called her daughter to hear her voice, worried about how it would feel for this to happen to her. The script reminded her of her past marriage with Edward – the warnings her parents gave her and their advice of not to marry him… as well as his lack of money and ambition that made him ineligible.
She continued the script – engrossed in its story and learnt that his wife had been struck with a hammer and his daughter had been suffocated…. as well as both being raped. He was devastated and worked with the Lieutenant in finding one of the men, who when found, denied all accounts and refused to talk.
With everything going on at home, Susan was distracted in her board meeting and her forgetfulness and lack of sleep raised concern amongst her colleagues. It was only now that we realised the truth between her and Edward – how she thought she was not good enough for him and was found cheating with the man she was with currently.
Events in Edwards script had progressed and Tony thought that he was closer to finding out the truth. The Lieutenant located Ray, a long haired guy, who Tony recognised straight away as one of the men. He was questioned and denied all the events… Tony was getting more angry as he was no closer to finding out what really happened to his wife and daughter. Due to lack of evidence Ray was then released.
Tony and the Lieutenant went out to find Ray, and he was found in the trailer. He admitted that the killing of his wife and child were an accident and that Ray ENJOYED raping his wife! Tony got so angry and killed Ray…. Before Ray fell, he attacked Tony with a spanner and he collapsed with a bleeding head wound. He woke up in the trailer and crawled into the desert… alone and hurt, he fell and was left to die.
She finished the script and felt guilty. Susan wanted to meet Edward and agreed to meet him for dinner. She now understood how much she hurt him and the script was a way for him to get revenge on her. She turned up to dinner but he never arrived.
The film was gripping from the start and has lived up to Tom Ford’s creative reputation. The story was complex and only by the end, did I get the big picture and understand. I found myself unable to look away. This is very high on my list of recommended films.
Comment and let me know what you think of the review and the film.
Bye for now 🙂