~ 1 Minute 45 Second Read
Movie Review Monday: Nightcrawler
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Director: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo
Nightcrawler is a film about underlying personality. We are introduced to Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Louis Bloom instantly being caught trespassing a forbidden area and so begins his witty improvisation. Suddenly, you are entranced by every word that comes out of this man’s mouth. On the prowl for a job, Bloom witnesses an accident and you see the fascination in his eyes as the news camera crew captures the incident. After asking the videographer a few questions, his ambition is set. He purchases a video camera of his own as well as a radio scanner the next day.
You spend the entire movie psychoanalyzing Louis Bloom. Sometimes focusing on his body language and behaviour, other times piecing together the rants and reasoning behind his discussions. He is headstrong, knows what he wants and knows how to ask for it. With each story he captures on tape, he delivers to a relentless editor, Nina Romina (played by Rene Russo). Nina is thrilled by the idea of exposing fear to the locals and is not afraid to teeter on the moral compass. You get an intriguing perspective on what goes on behind the scenes of news casting and how they manipulate footage to provoke stronger feelings. Bloom quickly figures out the standard Nina is looking for and so begins the art of his filming. He pushes the limit at each crime scene taking risks that could potentially be law breaking. Nina struggles with the infatuation of the clips and the uncertainty of the rules in which they can air. The crimes are shown in slow, dramatic ways that are meant to stimulate emotion but by knowing the motive behind the capture, (wanting to win the exclusivity of the clip), there is almost a separation from sympathy as we watch. It goes to show how easy it is for some people to become desensitized of cruelty.
This movie was captivating in a dark way. At moments I would find myself thinking, “Where is this going?” but that never slowed down my interest. You are getting into the mind of someone with psychopathic tendencies and get uncomfortably convinced by his intentions. It’s a strange perspective to be following an anti-hero because it’s natural as an audience to want to support the main character. Especially likeable ones and Bloom’s suave qualities strongly made us lean in that direction. His persuasion was so honest that I actually learned from him. He would make such strong, convincing statements that I found myself wishing he had his own lifestyle seminar because you feel like he has so much more wisdom to teach you.
Jake Gyllenhaal was the perfect cast for this role. You couldn’t turn an eye or ear away from him. As an actor who has played diverse roles from a heart-throb to demented characters, I would never be able to decipher his genuine identity as an individual. I believe that is the true definition of an actor.
This is a unique and absorbing movie to watch. You step into a pair of shoes that is completely different than you’re used to and end up running with them.