Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this haunting romantic thriller from acclaimed writer/director Tom Ford (A Single Man).
Susan (Amy Adams) is living through an unfulfilling marriage when she receives a package containing a novel manuscript from her ex husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). The novel is dedicated to her but its content is violent and devastating. Susan cannot help but reminisce over her past love story with the author. Increasingly she interprets the book as a tale of revenge,a tale that forces her to re-evaluate the choices that she has made and reawakens a love that she feared was lost.
I honestly had no idea what this movie was about and only requested it because of the names associated with the film. So, when my husband and I both sat down to watch it we were rather perplexed as the beginning credits were rolling while naked middle aged woman jumped around for the world to see, happily parading their bodies. It would of been about the forth lady in that my husband asked 'what have you got me watching'. I have to admit I was also questioning my choice.
Thankfully it improved as the movie went on and I found myself completely captivated by the film. It definitely has an 'artsy' feel to it but at the same time was so raw and gritty. The novel Susan received from her husband was so surreal and honestly could scarily happen to anyone. Predictably, this led to my husband and I both wandering what would we do in the same position. Personally my view is: if you are in the middle of no where and three deranged men are asking you to exit the car so they could fix your tyre I would say 'no thanks we are good will fix it in the morning' and gone to sleep - you just do not get out of a locked car!
It would of been a fantastic movie to watch if it was just that one story, but, instead you are whisked back to the past watching Susan and Edwards relationship blossom then crash, As well you have the present time occurring and at times the three of them became a blur as to what version you are actually watching. I can only surmise that Gyllenhaal was used as both Edward the author and as the 'victim' Tony, as it was his warped version of revenge. But, in saying that it was Susan who was reading the story, so theoretically any character could of been used, like the wife and daughter. It all became rather confusing. Without saying too much I do like the final scene and what it symbolised - stellar!
The other major issue I had with this movie was, I did not get enough out of Tony's character. The raw emotion that I would of expected just was not there and instead I found him just stand around watching instead of actually 'doing'. If it had been me I would of ripped there heads off but instead he could stand a few feet from them and control his anger. At times I wandered if it had all been a lie and that possibly he had committed the crimes instead. He was just so bland and I was left feeling no real empathy for him.
I am surprised by how effected by this movie I feel. The subject matter was disgusting and nobody should ever have to live through that but I found everything else about the movie great. Script, the arty way it was done, the acting (besides Tony) and the casting were all top notch. Well worth enduring the start of the movie as it does a complete left turn.
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"Ever notice that 'what the hell' is always the right decision?"
Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962)