Review: Nocturnal Animals

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Source: The Arts Desk

‘Nocturnal Animals’ is a beautiful, and at times fascinating, muddled assortment of dramatised political notions. An incredibly inconsistent screenplay which jumps between a condemnation of abortion with a stench of heightened masculinity, and a serious look at a woman’s will to please and love against her family’s (and her own) vanity and class, makes it intriguing but never relatable. On their own, these themes are mesmorising, especially in the world’s current political climate, but throughout the film they are in constant conflict with each other. Though the characters are well portrayed, there is always a sense of isolation as they never resonate, instead their feelings are more representative of general societal fears than personal human emotion. While director/screenwriter Tom Ford is unable to contain these spiralling allegories, he does provide a number of superb, rich, and perfectly choreographed sequences of tension and brutality, that assist the compelling, twisting story. Ultimately, ‘Nocturnal Animals’, even considering this above dialogue, is still a good film structurally as well as technically. While Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance is too polished and expected, the rest of the cast (particularly Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Michael Shannon) are dazzling. It is just unfortunate that the ideological perspectives they play are just that, perspectives. Perspective on an array of incoherent messages within an engaging narrative. 3.5/5

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