Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed
Directed by: Dan Gilroy
Louis Bloom, a smalltime thief who struggles to communicate well with others sees an opportunity to break into the world of L.A crime journalism. Reaching a crime scene first and filming the aftermath, the bloodier the better, so he can sell his video to a local news station. As he begins to flourish in his new found career he begins to blur the lines of legality and crosses the line from being an observer to participant.
Nightcrawler has been on my radar ever since its release back in 2014 but I’ve never been able to spare enough time to sit down and watch it. Finally, today was the day that I was able to check out this movie which has received an abundance of great reviews over the years and comes highly recommended by many of my friends.
Jake Gyllenhaal is the star of the movie as he plays Louis Bloom, somewhat of an outsider who is a borderline sociopath and a smalltime thief. One night he finds his calling as a nightcrawler, somebody who gets video footage of the aftermath of an accident or a crime and sells it on to a news station to be broadcast. After a slow start to his career he develops a much higher determination and drive to succeed and to beat his rivals to be the first on the scene. He employs Rick to be his helper and navigator as he climbs his way up the crime journalism ladder but in doing so he takes a lot more risks to stay the number one guy that he begins to cross over from observer to participant while ending up creating his own news stories that allow him to get the perfect shots and first scoop to the biggest stories.
This movie was great and definitely worth the four year wait to see it. Jake Gyllenhaal was absolutely fantastic as Louis Bloom as he captures the sociopathic personality and traits perfectly. The monologue style rants were great and delivered exquisitely and I can’t think of anybody who could’ve played the role better. I’m genuinely surprised that he wasn’t at the very least nominated for an Academy Award for this performance. While he would’ve faced stiff competition from eventual winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) Gyllenhaal’s performance was a lot better than Steve Carrell’s in Foxcatcher and that of Michael Keaton’s in Birdman. I think because this is a different style of movie that the Academy are used to putting forward for the awards, I feel it was unfairly overlooked in many aspects of cinema.
As well as Jake Gyllenhaal’s magnificent performance, we were also treated to a great supporting performance from Rene Russo, who played TV network boss Nina, who Louis develops a professional and forced personal relationship with. The dynamics between the two characters was great and they really nailed each scene they were in together. In addition to Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed who played Bloom’s assistant/navigator Rick was also great. I’ve seen Riz in a couple of movies now and each time he impresses and in Nightcrawler his character slowly becomes more involved and again the relationship between himself and Louis was fascinating to watch unfold.
The movie was a tense thriller which had a splattering of comedy thrown in here and there in an attempt to lighten things up. The acting was superb all round and the car chase scene towards the end of the movie was one of the best chase sequences I’ve seen put together in quite some time.
Overall, Nightcrawler was a fantastic watch and worth watching for Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance alone. This was Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut and what a way to begin your directing career with this entertaining and intense thriller.