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Review Nocturnal Animals (2016): Oh please, profound and deep my tuchus!

genre: mystery, thriller, drama





Believe me if I say that the title makes this film seem more interesting than it actually is. Sure it has some interesting elements that certainly get to you but are they the good kind?

So first and foremost this film is about a rich, bored and unsatisfied white woman who for some unknown reason we have to feel sympathy for. Of course we do. I mean if we have to believe this film she has it real tough. Tougher than most people in the real world working their ass off from nine to five. Those poor rich people! We should help them somehow. And in case you can't determine, I am being sarcastic here, since in no way did I feel sympathy for this woman whatsoever. The woman is played by Amy Adams and that is almost the most entertaining part about the character. Everything else that concerns her is laughable average. But then one day she gets sent a book written by ex-husband Edward who has dedicated the book to her. Title? You guessed it: Nocturnal Animals. After having been ditched by current husband played by Armie Hammer she starts to read the book and this is when we get to see the movie in the movie which starts out real compelling but very soon made me angry. Why you might ask? Because of the implausibility and the unrealistic nature of how the events unfolded. I am pretty versed in the ways of our world and it's darker nature but even then there is a certain logic to events. Here that is completely absent. You just have to accept it and I must admit the prospect of having to witness the scene that these events were implying was very haunting. Still I could not accept any of the events since all of the characters acted like complete buffoons.

Now it is implied that the story within the story should not be taken literally. But that brings me to what made me dislike this film even more. Symbolism. Naturally that could be very clever if not for the fact that it wasn't. Not really. The film ends in a way so that you could fill in your interpretation. In my opinion always tricky but nice if you can pull it off. In this case weak sauce. And I will tell you why. Have you noticed I could not be bothered to mention the names of Amy Adams and Armie Hammer? Because I really didn't care about any of the characters including Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). While some scenes could be described as violent and haunting and the stories begged for more exposure on the characters and what they are going through. We never get to the deeper thoughts of these characters except when certain scenes demanded it. Although mostly done in such predictable manner that very soon you start to wonder what the point of it all is. But this point you will have to fill out yourself because pretentious director Tom Ford wants you to think for yourself. That would have been fine with me had he bothered to give us more on the characters he has been featuring. Or if he would have taken us on a journey that truly needed thinking about. Only he never does this. Anyone can create a story and then claim it's filled with metaphors. Only not once in the film will you feel compelled to. There isn't a single moment where you are forced to take a step back and analyze events or characters because there is nothing to analyze since the film pretty much spells it out to you. Although that perhaps is the part where it really gets tricky since the ending offers no real conclusion.

If it weren't for the cast who do their best to make the script work I would not have been able to finish this movie but even they can't save the poor script that only here and there will peak your interest. This is one of those movies that will infuriate you but then never redeems itself. It ends like it begins with very little meaning. And whatever meaning there is, it's not compelling in the least. Let me ask you what is the point then?



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