Nightcrawler (2014): The City Shines Brightest at Night

Posted: March 1, 2015 in Crime, Drama, Thriller

nightwalker3Louis Bloom is not the most honest man. Stealing items to sell in scrapyards and pawn shops, he gets by on these devious actions. While driving late at night, he sees an accident, stops, and observes the emergency personnel and the camera crew documenting the scene. Living by his motto “if you want to win the lottery, you gotta have the money to buy a ticket,” he picks up a camera and a police scanner and begins to roam the streets at night for footage to sell to Channel 6 News. Eventually striking a deal with producer Nina Romina, Louis expands his business by adding an intern, upgrading his equipment, and seeking out the deadliest stories in the Los Angeles area. As he starts tracking more serious incidents, he begins to put himself and his intern into murkier and more dangerous waters.

Review: This gritty, dark thriller boasted a team of unlikeable characters that were difficult to stop watching because of the compelling nature of the storytelling. Jake Gyllenhaal (Louis Bloom) turned in a very unlikeable but remarkable performance as the thief turned nightcrawler. As Louis, he is nothing but dedicated to his craft, and quite the quick learner. Rene Russo (Nina Romina) provided an essence of the seedy side of the news, focusing more on sensationalism over substance. Riz Ahmed (Rick) was also the surprise of the film. While he was a supporting character and was meant to help elevate the sleaziness of Gyllenhaal, he was able to make Rick the only character that you would want to connect with and see succeed.

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The theme of the film was about that attraction to sensationalism of which people cannot get enough. While Louis was doing less harm (at least initially) with his transition from thievery to nightcrawling, he was still dealing with the underbelly of LA. Fighting for position amongst other established nightcrawlers, he studied and showed tenacity to wedge his way into the crowd and start to establish himself above the rest. In order to win out, he pushed the envelope to get the edge, even manipulating scenes and putting himself and Rick in danger to get the perfect footage.

The tension is gripping and compelling. The characters are seedy but impossible to ignore. The film may not be a revelation, but it is a great story.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5


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