Guillermo del Toro's new movie, "Nightmare Alley," is full of scammers trying to stay one step ahead of each other. While many of the characters are morally ambiguous or sinister, the characters in the film are often charming, intelligent, and complicated, making them attractive and entertaining, regardless of their sympathy.
In "Nightmare Alley," the charismatic Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) wins the love of the clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn) at a traveling circus-like carnival. They create a golden ticket to success by using newly acquired knowledge to outwit the wealthy New York elite of the 1940s. With the virtuous Molly (Rooney Mara) loyally by his side, Stanton plans to scam a dangerous tycoon (Richard Jenkins) with the help from a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who might be his most formidable opponent.
Who is who?
At first glance, the characters in "Nightmare Alley" are complex with ordered pasts, others are kinder people who make their living as artists, while others are scheming manipulators. Meet some of them:
- Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper): Stanton is a broken man who has learned to lie to get the reactions he wants from people. He is always trying not to show his true self. He is a capricious character, who transforms according to the circumstances.
- Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett): Dr. Ritter is a keen psychoanalyst who quickly identifies Stanton as a vulnerable man beneath her strong character, but also as a dangerous opponent whom she must overcome and defeat.
- Molly Cahill: (Rooney Mara): At the carnival, Molly is Elektra, the woman who can absorb any amount of voltage. She tries hard to keep Stan on the right track and believes that he has greatness in him.
- Zeena (Toni Collette): Zeena is a clairvoyant and tarot reader who gravitates toward Stanton, but feels like he, like the hangman tarot card she pulls out of her deck, is heading down a difficult path.
- Ezra Grindle (Richard Jenkins): Ezra is wealthy, reserved, and with a dark and secret past. He is willing to pay any amount of money to see his deceased lover again and pushes Stan to manifest it.
- Bruno (Ron Perlman): Billed as the strongest man in the world, Bruno promised Molly's father that he would take care of and protect her. You tend to use your physique rather than your mind in most situations. Her instinct to distrust Stan turns out to be correct.
Nightmare Alley: a different proposal from Guillermo del Toro
Del Toro explained that he very consciously wanted to stretch his cinema in new directions. “This is the first of my films that, although it has a magical atmosphere, it is not polite or stylized. It is set in a reality that is identifiable and immediate. I wanted to represent a classic story in a very lively and contemporary way. Also, that people feel that they are seeing a story pertinent to our world ”.
Naturally drawn to the macabre and deeply human world of carnival shows, del Toro saw Gresham's novel as autobiographical and wanted to explore the murky lines between illusion and reality, despair and control, success and tragedy that ensue. step into the production of Nightmare Alley.
With this installment, Del Toro reteams with master craftsman cinematographer Dan Laustsen, production designer Tamara Deverell, costume designer Luis Sequeira and editor Cameron McLauchlin.
Nightmare Alley contains seething layers of corruption, vice, lust, betrayal, and cosmic absurdity that build up as Stanton learns to cynically take advantage of the human need to believe in something outside of themselves and our world.
With this feature film, the Mexican filmmaker – recognized as the master of suspense, fantasy horror and thrillers – delves into “f-ilm noir”, or film noir, a genre that emphasizes narratives focused on criminal and criminal events with strong content expressive and characteristic visual stylization.
"Nightmare Alley" opens in Puerto Rico on Thursday, January 6, only in theaters.
The entry Nightmare Alley: Explore Complex and Mysterious Characters was first posted on Movie Network .