Jake Gyllenhaal has messed up a bit in the past with films like Prince of Persia and Love and Other Drugs,but the gritty,meaty,independent films are where his talents shine. Give him a character that’s weird and has some depth,a complex individual and he will go all out to bring that character to life. He will live that character for as long as it takes.
Nightcrawler stars Gyllenhaal as a kind of creepy guy called Lou Bloom. You know the type, they’re a nice person but there’s something off about them, they don’t get people or interact with other people easily. Lou Bloom is that kind of character, with his greasy,slicked back hair and scrawny frame, shirts a size too big and a bland dress sense. But he is far from boring,it’s Gyllenhaal’s most entertaining character yet.
Lou Bloom is out looking for a job,starting as a guy who steals construction site materials to sell on to builders but he’s desperate to prove he is worthy of a steady job. When he comes across a car crash he asks the reporter that arrives before the police if he’s hiring and he rudely rejects Bloom. From here the light goes on over Bloom’s head and he gets the necessary equipment (police radio,camera,car) to get bloody,harrowing,shocking crime scene material to sell to news stations. He’s an extremely smart individual who spends his time alone at his small apartment on his computer soaking up information,educating himself and being content with being a loner.
This film is really a 3 person film with Jake Gyllenhaal,Rene Russo and Riz Ahmd. Gyllenhaal doesn’t seem to experience empathy or apathy with people or the terrible things he witnesses while catching various crime scenes on tape, all he is concerned about is himself,getting the shot,being a success and having people look up to him. Rene Russo is cut from the same cloth,she just wants to save her own job, up her ratings and be ahead of the other stations no matter how horrible the footage and Rick is our human being. Rick is all of us,Blooms assistant, witnessing and feeling shocked by all the scenes he’s taken along to and questioning Bloom. All three act brilliantly but it is Gyllenhaal who outshines them all.
Dan Gilroy,writer and director, has really come up with a fantastic and original film. He deserves every award he receives and all the good press,reviews and feedback for Nightcrawler. It’s one of the very few honestly brilliant films I’ve seen this year and if you miss it you’ll regret it.
by Jen Gore