Noctunal Animals ⭐⭐⭐

As clinically and meticulously designed as a Tom Ford suit, this is an elegantly styled and pristine film about human relationships and revenge. The 3 narrative strands that make up the film crisscross between past and present and between fiction and reality. Executed and presented with clarity and precision, they form an intricate storytelling structure that draws the audience in, but despite great performances by a gamed cast and an impressive adaptation from Ford himself that always keep the suspense and tension brewing throughout, it ends on a dark and equally clinical but anti-climatic note that doesn’t really satisfy. The fictional reenactments of the book written by Amy Adams’ character’s ex husband is supposed to give us an insight, via analogical inferences, into the character’s motivations and emotions but the end result seems more of a red herring to me which left me cold and slightly puzzled. This has been a difficult review to write as I so wanted to like this film more. It certainly has all the ingredients that I am normally drawn to but while I was able to resonate with the loneliness of Colin Firth’s cold and withdrawn character in A Single Man as he slowly thaws to reveal the layers underneath, the real heart of the story seems to be missing here in the deliberately distant and sketchily drawn characters so as to sustain a mystery that turns out to be less than the sum of its parts.

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