Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, and Riz Ahmed
Written & Directed by: Dan Gilroy
Synopsis: Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) enters the world of crime journalism in L.A. but soon becomes obsessed to the point of committing crime to make a successful news story.
Nightcrawler was one of my favourite films of 2014, mainly due to how unique and original it was. The intriguing storytelling paired with an excellent screenplay really makes this film stand out above the rest. The script has depth, and is written perfectly which shows through the characters interactions, the dialogue feels natural, fresh and interesting, unlike many other films made now a days, where they lack intriguing screenplays, where as Nightcrawler kept me hooked and interested throughout the duration of the film.
Jake Gyllenhaal also gives his best performance in his career to date, It’s very rare where we see a character, instead of an actor, but Nightcrawler is an exception. His performance is creepy and mysterious, and extremely believable. Whenever I watch Nightcrawler I see Louis Bloom, not Jake Gyllenhaal, which just shows how incredible his performance was.
The cinematography was great, the look of Los Angeles in Nightcrawler was extravagant and beautiful, but also juxtaposed a dark and gritty, crime ridden city that portrays a dangerous and evil environment. The camera work is effective and presents the audience with masterfully constructed shot’s that create tension and suspense, which make the audience feel uneasy and disturbed.
Louis Bloom’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) development is masterful, we see him start out as a thief, who immediately appears creepy, but not to the extent of the third act. He witnesses a car fire and a makeshift camera crew who film the scene to then sell to news programs for money. He is intrigued by this and starts doing it himself. He becomes more and more crazy and begins to descend into an obsessive madness to the point of committing crime to become the star of his own story, even to an extent of putting people in danger just to make some money! This, paired with Jake Gyllenhaal’s excellent performance, blurs the line between protagonist and antagonist.
Finally, I want to talk about the editing. It is structurally intense and keeps the audience gripped, with fast paced cuts, which also have slow and developing shots where tension is built. The editing in Nightcrawler just works perfectly for the story and makes the film flow smoothly with great pacing which overall helps with the dark and disturbing tone, as without the pacing being top notch, the film wouldn’t have worked.