Plot: Susan Morrow receives a violent novel from her ex-husband which she soon realises is all part of revenge.
Director: Tom Ford
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon and Isla Fisher.
Absolutely gripping, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It’s such a sad story. Amy Adams’s character is the main protagonist but in actual fact, it’s all about Jake Gyllenhaal’s character. The film tricks you into caring for each character equally. These two characters spent some of their lives together and then when they split up, they both went on to have completely different experiences. Both are quite tragic.
One thing to understand about this film is there are two different stories. There is the story of the book when Susan is reading it and then there is the present story of her currently. There’s also flachbacks to Susan and Tony’s past that shows us how they got together, while they were married and their break-up.
Susan Morrow (Adams) lives a wealthy life and owns an art gallery. However, she comes across as being lonely. She is extremely unhappy. Her husband is never around and you kind of think if she’d have stayed with her first husband he would have been there and her life would have been completely different.
Then you’ve got Tony Hastings (Gyllenhaal) who’s life spirals out of control when his wife and daughter is abducted, raped and murdered. It’s horrific but it makes way for his novel that he sends to Susan. This is where the revenge comes out. She left him because he wanted to write but she didn’t believe in him and she’d had enough. She met her current husband and he seemed like the better option. When Susan and Tony were married his nickname for her was nocturnal animal. It is the title of his book which is bloody and horrible and he sent it to her who is living a completely normal life. It shakes her up. The end really kicks her because he stands her up when they arranged to meet after years apart. It was all part of his plan.
It’s a beautiful yet heartbreaking story and it’s well worth experiencing. The contrast between these two lives is so bold. A fantastic thriller film about love and revenge. The performances were stunning too.