Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhall stars as Louis Bloom, an unsettlingly confident human encyclopaedia of the Internet living in contemporary Los Angeles. Desperate for work of any kind Lou stumbles upon the underground world of ‘Nightcrawling’ where freelance video crews descend into the night like vultures, in order to get grotesque footage of crime scenes and car crashes to package up and serve for breakfast across the morning news.

After stumbling upon this new way to make a quick buck, Lou gets his grubby hands on a camera and a police radio, quickly setting to work. With his disturbing bulging eyes and greasy man bun, sociopath Lou prowls the streets awkwardly like a jackal in search of blood and death in a world where the more horrific the death, the more money you get and the higher you fly up the TV news ladder. All he has to remember is “If It Bleeds, It Leads”.

Writer-Director Dan Gilroy’s sinister modern classic poses the question – just how far will one disturbed young man go in the chase of the promised American dream? Journalistic ethics are criticised and scrutinised and the ever-growing twisted relationship between media and consumer are examined in the hunt for gruesome stories and higher ratings. The film also portrays the morbid nature of voyeurism, like that moment when everyone slows down to get a glimpse of a fatal motorway crash. As we become evermore desensitised to the media, there’s a growing hunger and desperation to find something that’ll truly shock us.

After befriending Nina, a ratings-hungry local news producer (Rene Russo), Lou is mentored and encouraged to do whatever it takes to grab the perfect story, even if that means tampering with crime scenes and withholding information from the police. The onset chemistry between both Gyllenhall and Russo exemplifies the desperation and callous nature of both characters that are out to fulfil their own personal gain.

All sense of moral compass is out the window in this desperate chase for the macabre. The chilling nature of the film provides a ‘can’t bear to look away’ feeling as you are sucked into the morally ambiguous world of the dark underbelly of the American dream.

Rebecca Rayner

2 comments

  1. Nightcrawler seems like a satire to modern television news about how they choose their leads or often seek for more ratings by entertaining their viewers rather than aim straightly to the facts. But there is a much interesting story beneath here and that is the main character, Louis Bloom. The guy that easily manipulates people with his sinister tricks of persuasion. Everything else may just be the natural world of crime and accidents, but in the eyes of this character, the experience is made far stranger and oddly fascinating. This provides a compellingly menacing and provoking piece of commentary which results to such engrossing film.

    What the plot mostly does is to fully absorb the viewers into the character of Bloom by studying his sociopathic behavior and the words coming out from his mouth. He is a charming young man with a dark intention hidden behind his grins. He pushes the limits of the law and his own safety, only to accomplish on what he must do in the job, even if it risks many people’s lives. The actions of this antihero is ought to feel terrifying on how it affects to both the business he’s working on and the society he is watching. The media’s side however is more of a picture of cynicism on how they broadcast the scariest stories of the city, giving the people fear so they could earn more viewers out of the concern. It just breaks down on how the evil of their success is disguised as their own ethics.

    The filmmaking perfectly captures their night’s work. You couldn’t clearly see the scenario they shoot unless you watch them on a video footage. The violence and peril they witness are shown without any hint of sympathy, since they only use them for the news show. The horror of these gritty scenes once again belongs to the nightcrawler. Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the biggest highlights here. His character obviously has the personality of a psychotic villain; he is mostly bluffing, and by the dashing enthusiasm he shows to the people around him, you probably may not know when his inner total madness will burst out from his frightening eyeballs, and that provides more tension than you expect. This is one of the Gyllenhaal performances that will be remembered for his career.

    Out of common sense, this story may lead its main character to a moral about how much he is taking this job too far, probably destroying his humanity. But no, this guy is relentless, almost inhumane, and his style in fact helps his career grow bigger, which turns out we are actually rooting for a villain. And that probably pictures to some oppressive ambitious beings out there behind some system. This is where things go in the end, bringing an outcome to a social satire. You can spot a lot of relevance even when some of the situations get a little out of hand. Nightcrawler is something else than a sentiment, what we must focus here is Lou Bloom: a new, possibly iconic, movie vigilante, except the only skin he is purposely saving is himself and his career.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s