Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is smart and hungry for success. All he needs is an in to make his luck. When he witnesses a traffic accident being filmed by a freelance news crew headed by Joe Loder (Bill Paxton), Lou is convinced he has finally found the way to make a whole lot of money. He gets a camera and a police scanner and sets off to capture the perfect image. But with the first success comes the hunger for more and the necessity to blur lines to get everything he wants as quickly as he wants it.
Nightcrawler not only has the amazing Jake Gyllenhaal, but also a smart, insightful script and perfect pacing. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
As you probably know if you’ve been following this blog for a bit, I like horror movies and I’m not easily fazed by them. But Jack Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom creeped me the fuck out. He had me physically cringing in my seat more than once. Which was the intended effect (or at least I think/hope it was) and both Gilroy and Gyllenhaal push it to perfection. The way Lou sprouts management speak (that I already find unsettling when it’s just a bit of rhetoric, but when it’s taken seriously, as Lou does, it becomes even worse), his sociopathic disregard for anybody else, his absolute narcissism – I honestly don’t know what’s worse.
The good thing is that they are not trying to sell him as some kind of genius entrepreneur who made himself from scratch, but that they show just how many lines you can cross with that exact American dream mindset and that maybe making money and being successful shouldn’t be the endgame.
It becomes quite clear early on where the story will be headed, but I didn’t anticipate a) how absolutely fucked up things would become with Nina Romina (Rene Russo) and b) how much I would be taken in by the entire story.
If that’s due to Jake Gyllenhaal, the script, the great cinematography or a combination of the three, I don’t know. But even after I had left the cinema, thinking of Lou would give me goosebumps – and it still does so.