Nightcrawler: Film Review

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Everyone seems to know this film as ‘the one where Jake Gyllenhaal loses weight’. Yes, he does, but Nightcrawler should be known for way more than that because it is totally genius. I really liked this film – Jake is incredible and this is easily my favourite film of his.

He stars as Lou Bloom, a thief and hustler who stumbles across a freelance TV crew filming a car crash and he decides that will be his new profession. He buys some cheap gear and becomes a ‘nightcrawler’ who waits for accidents and crimes to occur so they can be filmed and sold to news networks. Bloom is very persistent and his determination to rise up the ranks leads him to make some very questionable, unlawful decisions.

I have never seen a film that looks into this side of the TV industry before and I found it fascinating. From a professional point, I liked seeing how things worked in the editing and behind the scenes and also what these crawlers go through to be on the front lines of stories. I liked that it showed the gritty side of Los Angeles and the prejudiced/stereotypical side of the network heads.

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However, this film is genius because of the Lou Bloom character. Everything that happens in the film is down to him and he leads the entire thing so you have to have a strong persona. Bloom is written so well, his characterisation and dialogue are just superb. He is lacking in social skills and definitely has problems communicating with people in a normal way. Even though you don’t approve of his behaviour, it makes you laugh out of the sheer audacity he has and you can also understand why he feels the need to do it. He has one goal – to be the best in the area – and he will stop at nothing to get it. Jake plays him perfectly and I couldn’t imagine anybody else playing him. If this was done badly, Lou would be a total nutcase who wants to get involved in crime, but this shows that he is not totally evil, he has just convinced himself that his actions are necessary, regardless of how moral, legally and ethically questionable they are.

This is a thriller and it does not disappoint. The final half hour is when Lou really begins to get out of hand and you simply cannot believe what he is doing. It is so interesting and even though he is arrogant you also love his brutal honesty. I loved the car scenes, the dark humour, the question of professional ethics and the power struggle between Lou and network boss Nina (Rene Russo). This is very clever and I totally recommend.

Comments

  1. Totally creepy, which is definitely thanks to Gyllenhaal and what he puts into this character. Good review Hannah.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Jake Gyllenhaal is suitably creepy in this look at the underbelly of crime scene footage gathering in Los Angeles. I found it fascinating and Gyllenhaal’s Lou is really the gel that holds it all together. He is awkward, ruthless and will stoop to dark depths to score winning footage. Read review here. […]

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