First thing’s first. The movie “Nightcrawler” is creepy. I’d even call it “C-R-eepy” for emphasis. It’s not a horror movie per se, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance could very well make your skin crawl.
Gyllenhaal plays a weird L.A. dude named Lou Bloom. From the get-go, viewers can tell this dude is a little different and not in a good way. Bloom is a petty thief with some serious negotiating skills and boundary issues. After stumbling across an accident in progress, Bloom runs into a a freelance TV reporter (played by Bill Paxton) and decides to explore the same career path of “nightcrawling” (selling footage to the highest TV morning news bidder.) Before long, Bloom risks life and limb in hot pursuit of stories ranging from shootings to accidents, and meets aging news director Nina Romina (Rene Russo) in the process. She wants “graphic” news footage (preferably effecting suburban viewers) and Bloom is the guy who can deliver it.
What makes Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom character soooo creepy?? Wow, there are lots of things, but, for my money, the way he speaks is number one. He sounds like a monotone robot — like some weird mix of a textbook and and a pop psychology paperback. “I think being clear with your objectives is more important than trying to present your ideas in a non-confrontational manner.” (This is from the same guy who assaults a security guard and steals his watch in the first five minutes of the movie.)
Nightcrawler is an interesting reflection of sorts — it holds a mirror up to not only the news business, but capitalist society as a whole. On the one hand, Lou Bloom and the news outlets serve the viewing public’s needs. He beats his competitors to stories and provides information. On the other hand, Lou and the news stations are exploitative and will seemingly stop at nothing to get the stories. Ultimately, it asks how far is “too far” to get the story or just to survive in the news business? It’s a theme that has been explored in plenty of other films, but “Nightcrawler” does it in an original albeit white knuckle way. The 2014 film was written and directed by Dan Gilroy. I highly recommend it.
Till next time, keep our Mojo on the Horizon!