What is hiding “Under the cover of night”: the secret meaning of the movie
Naked matrons of not the first youth move rhythmically to the music. They shake their bodies and wave glittering pompoms in the manner of young cheerleaders. A shocking beginning that in no way affects the meaning of the film “Under cover of night.” But the viewer is already smitten and discouraged, which is what the director wanted.
What is the movie about
Despite the defiant plot, the explanation of the “nudity” is simple. The performance is a detail of the exhibition in the gallery of the main character Susan Morrow. The “cream” of Los Angeles was invited to the opening of the exposition. The owner learns that Edward, the man she divorced when she was young, will be passing through the City of Angels. He wants to meet and discuss a new book. Her draft was sent to the gallery owner by mail.
Most of the tape is the screened content of the manuscript “Nocturnal Animals”. The woman is flattered that the novel is dedicated to her. She sits down to read. And looking forward to something romantic. However, the plot leads into dark jungle. The central character, Professor Tony Hastings, loses his wife and daughter during a trip to another state. Late in the evening, the family is attacked by a trio of bandits, Ray, Bes and Lou. There is no point in resisting: the forces are unequal. As a result, the driver was ejected from the car. Laura and young India are taken away, abused and killed.
Although the police officer Bobby Andes “digs the earth” in search of scumbags, it is possible to overtake the criminals only after a year. The detective did what he could, but he’s terminally ill. Tony has to end the vendetta himself.
From couturier to director
As with Tom Ford’s directorial debut with A Single Man, Nightfall is an adaptation that changes a lot from its original, Austin Wright’s Tony & Susan. In the book, the heroine is not the owner of a fashion gallery, but a representative of the middle class. Yes, the characters are older.
Having become famous as the creative director of Gucci, Tom Ford brought the brand to a new level. And in 2007 he opened his first boutique in New York. It seemed that Tom was like Midas, everything he came into contact with turned into “gold”, whether it was perfumes or fashion collections. And what about the film industry?
The master revealed the explanation of these “experiments” in an interview. He wanted to “feel the taste of real life” again. Because the master did not want to leave behind only piles of clothes gathering dust in fashion museums.
Interestingly, in the new cinema sphere for him, recognition came instantly. Tape with Colin Firth claimed the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival. And the second picture received the Grand Prix of the same film forum.
The attraction of opposites?
The director of this film, Tom Ford, is a prosperous gay family man who has been living with a partner for 34 years, raising his son, screenwriter, producer and director. In his tapes, he displays pathologically unhappy individuals. And he does it with amazing talent.
In A Single Man, a gay teacher is having a hard time with the death of a loved one and can’t bear the loss. Sixties: society is not ready to accept a “non-standard” professor. Even “sympathizers” are deaf to mourning.
In the neo-noir “Under the Cover of Night”, the same soft and sensitive intellectual loses two family members who illuminated his life. Hastings is tormented by the inability to turn back time. After all, it was possible to go the other way, not to get caught by an embittered gang. In the end, postpone the trip.
Edward, the romantic writer who conceived this sufferer, is still healing his wound after parting with his cheating wife. And the culprit of painful experiences begins to feel that in her youth she chose the wrong path. Let under the influence of an authoritarian parent and temptations, but this is not an excuse. You can’t get rid of the burden of guilt. The second marriage, which seemed prosperous, crumbled like a house of cards, and the business cracked.
Know how to laugh at yourself
Filming the second movie, Ford could not deny himself the pleasure of making fun of the world of glamor, in which he has been spinning for decades.
At the same time, both director’s works are notable for their well-considered style and are filmed “in the old fashioned way”, without the use of “numbers”. Tom is sensitive to details, which is worth only pretentious pearls in the episode of Sue’s meeting with her mother or the poses of defenseless naked bodies of the dead. The costumes are amazing, as is the work of the production designer. And the characters invariably suffer from the inability to achieve spiritual harmony and come to terms with the imperfections of the world.
As for the mentioned irony, it shows through in the same “exhibition” “body-positive” presented at the beginning of the film. And – especially – in the statements of one of the heroine’s friends, pompous, smug “penguin” Carlos Holt.
In this sleek, mannered homosexual man, one can hardly guess the charismatic Aro from the Twilight franchise or the corrosive journalist from the Frost vs. Nixon biopic. But all three were played by the Welshman Michael Sheen: a very versatile artist.
If we talk about the cast, then this is an undoubted treasure of the picture. Amy Adams (Morrow) has six Academy Award nominations. But even critics were surprised that in 2016 the actress did not receive a single one. Neither for the treacherous Susan, nor for Villeneuve’s fantasy “Arrival”, where she reincarnated as a linguist with a personal tragedy, designed to translate alien speech.
By the way, since the time of “Charmed” Adams has invariably created images of sweet, kind, cheerful. Morrow is a different case. Satiated with life’s blessings and spiritually poor, the gallery owner tries to stay “in the cage”, maintain the necessary connections, cling to trends. And what is the result? The indifference of a husband busy with himself and his mistresses and lonely old age, which is just around the corner. A painful moral rebirth took place, but who will appreciate it.
The cast of the film
Such different men
Playing two roles – Ed and Tony – Jake Gyllenhaal was also on top. Sheffield appears in the frame briefly. But the scenes with Hastings simply tear the soul of the viewer.
Michael Shannon (Andes) was nominated for an Oscar. Exhausted, out of breath, constantly coughing up blood, the detective could have forgotten his debt to India and Laura. After all, it’s full of worries! But he is full of desire to restore justice. And goes to the end to punish the villains.
Before the release of the action-packed detective, Aaron Taylor-Johnson was perceived by the public as another “pretty face”. A boy who looks good in entertainment films, comics, comedies. Ray “shaken up” the biography of the Briton. He was not afraid of the ugly make-up and the cruel deeds of the scoundrel, causing shock in the audience. Yes, you can’t look at this physiognomy without a shudder! The efforts were rewarded: the performer won the Golden Globe. We applaud standing.
How did the movie end
Flipping through the pages of the book, Susan plunges into memories. As an ambitious mother insisted on parting with the “loser” Ed, and the “obedient daughter” cheated on her husband with the promising handsome Hutton. Infidelity came back to haunt years later: Mr. Morrow cuckolds the owner of the gallery. And she decides to do the right thing. Return what was lost. But the date with Sheffield doesn’t go according to the businesswoman’s plan.
The heroine’s idea of reconciliation and reunion with a promising writer was shattered. Preening in vain: Eddie simply did not come to the meeting. And then the meaning of the literary thriller became clear to the reader: all this is an allegory!
The abandoned lover was not going to throw out the white flag. He already achieved his goal: he made the eternally busy lady plunge into the gloomy realities of the novel and see clearly.
The meaning of the ending
When Mrs. Morrow was just wading through the gruesome details of the plot and ending of the manuscript, she admired the style and the idea. She shuddered in disgust, worried about the characters. And, probably, she regretted that she had abandoned such a talented, sensitive person.
After sitting at the table of a chic restaurant for an hour (and realizing that the gentleman had ignored her), the failed artist mentally returned to the text she had read and realized: the author did not mean an “ordinary” crime. Everything is allegorical: the trinity of bandits is herself. A life partner who treacherously betrayed and trampled on feelings. Laura, beaten with an iron rod, is the soul of Ed and his outraged love. India, deprived of her virginity and strangled, is an unborn child, pulled out of the womb during an abortion.
The meaning of the ending of the film “Under cover of night” is terrible and instructive. You have to pay for mistakes, they will certainly return like a boomerang. And the most disgusting thing is if you realize the mistakes too late, and nothing can be corrected and “glued together”.
And here she sits, humiliated by the tedious waiting, irritated by the obsequious questions of the waiter. Struck by the unaccustomed awkwardness of the moment. The smile had long since faded from her skillfully painted face. Serves right? Probably. Ford severely punishes the heroine – following the author of the novel. You can not betray the ideals of youth. It is impossible to give away a loving soul to reproach. Payback is inevitable.
Look into the abyss
The painting is definitely not for everyone. Elite, fine work. This is probably why, with a budget of 22.5 million dollars, he earned only 30.3 million. It is easier for the public to “swallow” the next superhero story, which will “linger” in memory only until the next morning. And here you have to live every second, digest, comprehend, perhaps cry. And constantly mentally return to gloomy shots: it’s not for nothing that the classic said, “the soul must work”!
A dozen nominations and two prestigious wins. 72% positive reviews from critics: Approval rating calculated by Rotten Tomatoes. Ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Compliments to the actors who performed the main and secondary roles. Success? Certainly. It remains to wait for the master’s new products and hope that he will hit the bull’s-eye again.