Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
With: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Lou Bloom is unemployed and desperate. On his constant job search he has learned the most efficient way to promote his qualities and to present himself as the perfect candidate for a job. When he will discover the night world of crime journalism, he will realize that this profession was made for him.
Jake Gyllenhaal is transformed here as the creepy, but with the somehow attractive personality, Lou Bloom, a loner who is determined to succeed no matter the cost. Like a trained predator (Gyllenhaal admits his inspiration for the role was a coyote) Lou observes carefully his opponents, the environment he chooses to act and which can be the most effective way to attack and survive. Entering the world of crime journalism as a cameraman who runs to cover any possible crime in Los Angeles, Lou will discover a fascination he never imagined was possible. Covering car crashes, attacks, accidents and murders he will realize how much good he can be and how many dollars he can earn by just following real crime with his camera.
Slowly but effectively he will befriend Nina, a tv news journalist, who will be very quickly attracted to his passionate determination and complex personality. She will aid him and support him for his explicit and unique footage from numerous crimes. Lou will prove not to have any ethical boundaries when it comes to his profession and his success. He will ignore any kinds of moral violations and will deliver to Nina the most gruesome and raw crime footage ever.
Nina is like Lou, they both are attracted by the ugliness of this world and the more terrible the image, the more excited they get. They are both made by the same materials. It is not about the shock or the shame of it, it is purely about how the audience loves crime and they, as the best team ever made, understand it. They know what people crave for and what they will talk about for days. They give people what they want. This way they are both winners; the bigger rates the channel gets, the more dollars they both earn. Simple as that.
"Nightcrawler" is a dark film which draws a thin line between the hunter, the victim and the viewer. Lou is part of the triangle, so is Nina, with the roles constantly changing. Lou will do anything for his new business and will prove to himself and to others that with constant hard work and perseverance success follows. But where do you stop? Are there any limits? It is creepy, intense and totally instinct based film that will make you hate even more the amoral society we live in and how media bet their existence on people's lowest instincts; the need for blood, sperm and violence.
This film takes a deep dive into the dark world of crime and media circus that most human eyes are dangerously attracted to. Its narration is smooth and builds up beautifully with Lou in the spotlight. You witness his initial state and his almost immediate adaptation, like a natural predator, to any circumstances in order to survive. Many have named the film a satire on today's media and a social-ethical comment and I couldn't agree more. Its dramatic and satirical tone match perfectly together, especially by the assistance of the music. But the problem lies on its restlessness in trying to cross its own limits.
Gyllenhaal is fascinating in his character, creepy, extremely intelligent and methodical, but he is too perfect in how to pull through every situation, on how his shocking work is being broadcast, when all of this feels indeed like a joke; how can a person like him never have to deal with the consequences of his actions? Yes, this might be the point, how ethics have diminished and people can do anything for television, but the film takes itself too seriously while it mocks us and the society we are not trying to change.
I understand its point and the way its done and the fact I hated this character more than anybody the last 6 months says a lot about the power the film had on me. I liked it, but my objections on how it presents its story are stronger. It made me also realize how I was craving for something even more cruel, more dramatic to happen. Maybe this is what the film solemnly proves; that even though we realize our low moral position we still crave for more blood, more violence, more brutality.