“My motto is: if you wanna win a lottery, you have to make money to buy a ticket,” said Lou Bloom.
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Nightcrawler is a very dark and thought-provoking L.A. thriller embroiled with intriguing, sleazy set-pieces. This Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut blatantly satirizes and criticizes the modern sensation-driven mass media, especially the controversy-laden news programs aired in televisions (which might resonance what Gone Girl—which I haven’t watched yet, but read—might affirm). It goes from the dim neon-bathed L.A. street to the boardroom of L.A. most acknowledged TV news, as it ruthlessly dismantles the inside of news capitalism with filthy nuance of thriller and big, black humors. Sounds complicated? BIG NO, it’s a fun joyride through the downtown with some adrenaline rush.
In the joyride, we witness Jake Gyllenhaal hitting the headline as a soulless, mysterious man, Lou Bloom, who’s cravin’ for someone to hire him. He’s, truly, a self-claimed fast learner, an eloquent negotiator, and, evidently, a manipulative sociopath, who finds the jetset world of L.A. crime. Attracted by some dollar-riding freelance camera crews who film chaos and mayhem along the night (that’s why they’re called ‘nightcrawler), Lou drives himself fast-and-furious-ly to the world of nightcrawling—jeopardizing his nightlife into some filthy pursuit of dollars over people’s life. When, soon, TV news veteran, Nina (Rene Russo) finds out his splendor, Lou, like in IMDb, starts to blur the line between the observer and participant, ’cause he knows what he aims, and he aims BIG.
Upon the mesmerizing scenery of L.A. night landscapes, there shines the one and the only Gyllenhaal, in a sociopath persona, who gets into the characters loud and clear, as if he’s Norman Bates of Psycho or his resemblance, Patrick Bateman of American Psycho. Lou Bloom knows his obsession, and like he said, the reason of why you pursue something is as important as what you pursue, and he lives with it. He’s the star on-screen or off-screen; his monstrous performance is so riveting, so jawdropping. Gyllenhaal’s quality overshadows Rene Russo’s back-into-class performance or Bill Paxton’s cynical jokes; yet, he shares his neon-spot to his on-screen partner, Riz Ahmed, who constantly colours Gyllenhaal’s palette with raged red and all.
We never know exactly why Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom is so obsessed with his nightcrawling business, but what we know is—given this dark revelation in Nightcrawler—that TV news will never be the same again. Nightcrawler can never be anything than a strong satire seasoned with unique premise, but the impact is real—crawling in the dark, swamp ground of the so-called capitalism, with blurred lines of authentic fact or made-up facts.
Drama, Crime, Thriller Written & Directed by: Dan Gilroy Starred by: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton Running Time: 117 mins Rated R for violence including graphic images, and for language