The closer you look at Nightcrawler, the better it gets

A man desperate for work muscles his way into the world of L.A. crime journalism but the lines between bystander and participant when he delves deeper into the possibilities of his new career.Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a small time their and big time hustler. He lives a relatively low profile existence and desperately needs work. After a night of unsuccessful job hunting, Lou makes his way home but comes across a road accident on the way. He notices a camera crew filming and makes an instant, perhaps slightly subconscious decision that that is the job for him. He kits himself out with a camera and police transponder, hires an intern, then starts filming the latest and greatest crime stories taking place in L.A. and sells them to a news station. Before long, however, Lou’s morals become more questionable than they were before, and he very quickly starts to get way too involved in the stories he is filming.

For a very long time now I have been threatening to review Nightcrawler, but in all the time I’ve had the DVD, I just never got round to writing up about it. Well, me and my best friend watched it the other day and so I’ve finally decided that now is the time to review this very interesting film.

The main attraction here is the lead performance. Jake Gyllenhaal is absolutely tremendous as Lou Bloom, providing what is definitely one of the best performances of his career. He put so much effort into developing his character and all his work certainly paid off if you ask me. He made Lou a real oddball to the extent that at some points during the film, he was somewhat uncomfortable to watch. Despite this, he is a Gyllenhaal character that I love, and one that has made me worry slightly about myself. We all know that I have a fondness of Gyllenhaal, and it was after seeing him here that hat fondness developed. He is a magnificent actor, and one who is not too hard to look at either.

Nightcrawler introduced us to Riz Ahmed whom we all perhaps now know best as Naz Khan in The Night Of. His character, Rick, was something like the complete opposite of Lou – very unsure of himself, not at all impulsive, basically everything Lou wasn’t. He was a good balancer in the film, and he emphasised Lou’s eccentricities well.

The film doesn’t follow a storyline as such, but follows the main character on his descent into what is essentially madness instead. It also explores an idea that I for one haven’t seen before. The stories of these so-called ‘nightcrawlers’ is not something that I have ever really given much thought to, but I am so glad writer and director Dan Gilroy did. Sadly though, it would appear that some organisations didn’t pay this film the same attention as I, along with many others, did, as it missed out on an awful lot during that year’s awards season.

On the whole, I 100% recommend that you see Nightcrawler. It takes a look at life through the eyes of someone who is a product of the time he was raised within. I suppose in a way you could look upon this film as a modern day version of Taxi Driver – it has the same fantastically unnerving lead performance and great writing, but applies elements of what is slightly more in line with what is going on today.


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Kira Comerford

Film and TV lover with hopes to one day make my own projects for everyone to enjoy. Until then, I'm giving my thoughts on what I watch for inspiration.

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