Walking into this film, I didn't know what to expect - I didn't know much about the plot, I hadn't even seen any trailers - but, after having read positive reviews, my expectations for this were high. The film started and I just thought it was going to be average. I was wrong. Nightcrawler is awesome!
Piercing eyes, a bony, tall physique and a hauntingly evil smile, Bloom is a man desperate for work; his motto being "if you want to win the lottery then you have to make the money to buy a ticket." When he stumbles upon the world of dirty crime journalism, in the busy streets of L.A, he enters the dangerous realm of nightcrawling.
Trying to beat other camermen, and, on occasion, the police, Bloom heads to almost every major crime scene, in order to snag a hot scoop, a big exclusive that he can sell to the local TV news show. However, as power and money get to his head, he begins to cross the path between dark and darker and soon show how far, exactly, a person would go for the American Dream.
Everything about this is great - acting, humour, directing, darkness - and it all meshes together very nicely to translate brilliantly to the big screen. What's even more incredible about this is the fact that it's The Bourne Legacy and Real Steel writer Dan Gilroy's directorial debut and, honestly, when you watch this it would not seem like its his first ever film - that's how well directed it is - and for an $8 million budget, it's especially better. It looks gorgeous too! I have to say, the L.A skyline at night is just beautiful!
As far as the plot itself goes, it's incredibly dark, twisted and disturbing. It's clever too. The first act is nice in setting things up but, as soon as the second act kicks in, you're thrown off guard for an immense ride but the finale of this film is the best; it will actually have your heart-racing as Gilroy cranks things up to a new level of thrilling as Bloom is at his darkest, most terrifying stage. You're not ever, for a second, left bored. You always have something in your mind or something to ponder over or to have you biting your nails.
The humour in it, of course, is just as bad and that's exactly the aspect of the film I loved most! Clearly, this type of tone isn't for everyone. However, it was for me! The dark humour is hilarious; disturbing but very funny. I simply adore the character of Bloom. He's a madman yet you can't help but root for him because you just love his evil charisma and are intrigued to see how he cranks up his craziness to the next level. He's unpredictable.
Massive kudos go to Gyllenhaal. This is, honestly, without a doubt, one of his most incredible performances to date. He is utterly phenomenal as Louis Bloom, really selling this twisted role. Like I said, you're cheering this guy on even though you know how f*cked up he is and Gyllenhaal does a magnificent job at making you fall for Bloom. His character gets progressively darker in the film and Gyllenhaal gets constantly better - he looks scary too!
There's no one that could've pulled it off the way he does. This performance definitely deserves to get some Oscar-buzz. I can guarantee that Jake will get a nomination for Louis Bloom! He's awesome! Seriously, if you ever had any doubts about Gyllenhaal as an actor (for God knows what reason) then go and see this film because it'll show you just how mesmerising and fantastic an actor he actually is!
Of course, he has some excellent support on-screen too from Riz Ahmed, as his witty 'assistant', Bill Paxton as his competitor (for when it comes to recording footage at these crime scenes) and Rene Russo, as Nina - a veteran in the blood-sport that is journalism, the one Bloom sells to. They're all great and have such veritable chemistry with Gyllenhaal, making everything that whole bit smoother. There's an especially charming scene between Russo and Jake, in a restaurant, that I particularly love. It's funny, it's dark and it's just so well done and the chemistry between the two of them is captured PERFECTLY.
Magnificently dark and thrilling, Nightcrawler is a modern masterpiece with a brilliantly compelling performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and a gloriously engrossing directorial debut from Dan Gilroy. Simply outstanding.
About the Author
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.