Nocturnal Animals review: experiences that come to life, so that they can reject themselves

Arts & EntertainmentTelevision / Movies

  • Author Thomas Cullen
  • Published July 17, 2018
  • Word count 447

In the past, I’ve alluded to the possibility that Nocturnal Animals is the greatest movie of all time. Now this might still be true (I happen to no longer believe that 1977’s The Sentinel has the ability to be better than Nocturnal Animals) and to explore the integrity of this possibility, I want to analyse the following theme: that the entire history of the universe is just one experience of stimulation.

A reality which is one stimulation is one stimulation which is fantasy. One stimulation which is fantasy is a fantasy which is two stimulations – a fantasy which is two stimulations is two stimulations which are reality.

Two stimulations which are reality is a reality which can’t be two stimulations. A reality which can’t be two stimulations is a reality which needs to be one stimulation: a reality which needs to be one stimulation is a contrast which needs to be one stimulation.

A stimulation is an enjoyment. Thus, a contrast which needs to become one stimulation is a contrast which needs to become one enjoyment.

A contrast which needs to become one enjoyment is a contrast which needs to become no enjoyment (one enjoyment can’t be identical to just enjoyment). And as such, a contrast which needs to become no enjoyment is a non-enjoyment which needs to become the same.

From this point, I can just stick with non-enjoyment, change to enjoyment or move forward with both non-enjoyment and enjoyment. I think that the scenario permits any of the three options: in essence, the meaning of Nocturnal Animals is that whether it be violence, or happiness or sensuality, the experience in question needs to become the entirety of reality.

To put it this way: in the eyes of the 2016 drama, Nocturnal Animals, all parts of history have the right to share the same experience – all experiences that make up reality have the right to be the same experience.

If reality is Y, all the experiences that define reality can be X; if every X wants to be the same X, the equivalent of this is the same X not wanting to be every X – the same X that doesn’t want to be every X is the same X that wants to be no X.

In Nocturnal Animals, any experience that happens becomes a refusal to be that very experience. Whether it involves Susan on her own, in her mansion, or if it's Tony in the desert or Susan and Edward in flashback, any of the experiences that are seen to happen throughout the course of the movie are a living version of themselves, because then they can choose to reject themselves.

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