Nightcrawler is dirtier and grubbier than any movie you might have seen till now and is sure to make you feel like you need a wash after the final credits roll. The movie has a lot to say about the madness going on in modern media. It explores how society has encouraged insanity after the massive fallout of mass unemployment. However, the film is a bona fide masterpiece, coming from screenwriter Dan Gilroy. At the center of the film is a towering performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.
Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is introduced in the opening scene as he steals and trespasses a property and then assaults a security guard. The title character talks like he is reading from a self-help book and this technique does make sense to a certain extent. However, there is something peculiar about the man. There is a lack of empathy and coldness with every social interaction Bloom is involved in.
Apart from the obvious issues, Lou is ambitious whenever he comes into contact with a cameraman. Instead of being repelled, Bloom instantly sees an opportunity and steals a bike and manages to trade it in for a police scanner and a camcorder. It’s not long before he is a card carrying member of the paparazzi. Eventually, business begins to flourish with valuable footage of car wrecks and bloodbaths. In time, he trains a protege (Riz Ahmed) who is quite desperate for a job as well and the two of them go into business with a news producer (Renee Russo) who is also in danger of losing her job.
There will come a time when you will feel as though you are having the worst day of your life. The movie is primarily concerned about how far Bloom is willing to go and whether he will be able to get a shot that will sell. In conclusion, it is a strangely hilarious feature which is quite thought provoking. It successfully blends elements of horror and drama with dark comedy.
Photo credit: Nightcrawler movie still