Tom Ford is back with his second long feature proving that his success with his directorial debut with the exquisite 'A Single Man' was not a one time thing. In fact, he has made a more risky, over the edge movie, so he's becoming a director with an interesting career to follow.
If in his stellar debut Ford explored the solitude and despair of a man who lost his lover and we witness precisely that during one apparently normal but crucial day, in 'Nocturnal Animals' he goes a bit deeper than that. Not that 'A Single Man' is not loaded with emotions, because truly it is, but the cut goes way deeper in his sophomore film.
Starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, it follows the story of lost lovers Tony and Susan and how their decisions in life come back in the shape of a book to haunt them, especially to Susan as Tony writes the novel. This is a movie about heartbreak, about regrets and revenge, mostly that, or at least that's what i got out of it. The story is completely driven by revenge from Tony's part, and sending his book to his ex-wife is like a proof that he's not as sensible as he was with her, which at first was what she liked about him only to despise it at the end. She's both a contradiction and the most absurd cliche, as she comes from a really well established family and she doesn't want to end up like her mother, but she exactly ends up like her, like he told her it would happen. The ending scene is a clear example of Tony's intentions of revenge: standing her up at a restaurant, waiting for him to appear which he never does, as the ultimate step for his vendetta.
When it comes to the parallel story of the film, the one he writes in the novel, i can't really tell what i got out of it. At first it seems that he's narrating something that happened to them when they were together but turns out it's completely fiction, or maybe not, but i'm still figuring that out. I guess the violence and cruelty that he depicts in the story is like him showing to her that he can write about something that hasn't happened to him and that his sensible side is nowhere to be found there. Like he's proving himself to her, after all these years, after all the pain she has caused to him. And that's why i really think all this is driven by revenge.
'Nocturnal Animals' is really a dark and sordid ride, from the credits with all those obese women dancing nude, which is controversial and provocative, all in the sake of "art". That might be a contrast between the own director's designer's world and his career in directing, as he gets the most frivolous part with his career as a designer - and that fits Susan's world in the art gallery, and then there's the most visceral, emotional part that he delivers with his role as a director, which completely falls into Tony's part with his novel. Either way, the movie is really interesting to watch, a dark twisted thriller that goes deep in the characters and the story really gets to you. I personally liked 'A Single Man' better but 'Nocturnal Animals' is not way behind. But i'm completely following Tom Ford's career in the film industry. His career in fashion i can't afford.