Tonight we watched Nightcrawler, a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The film follows Louis Bloom, an enthusiastic man, just interested in getting a job and making his way in the world. One night, when he is searching for a job he comes across a cameraman recording a car crash and decides to try his hand at it. Through this film, we see Lou learning the ropes of being a freelance cameraman, recording crimes, accidents and incidents and his journey in his new career.
I’m no expert on films, however I am in possession of an opinion and I happen to have one on this film, so this will read like a review. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, as I really want people to watch this film.
This film was beautifully shot, with clear scenes for still moments and an uncomfortable closeness when Lou is performing his job, creating a deep feeling of unease due to Lou’s creepy character. As the film is almost exclusively set at night, the bright beam of the camera light and the glow of the streetlamps do a good job of highlighting his gaunt features – as if he leads an unhealthy lifestyle. The lighting also shows his fanatical expression as he works, as if he enjoys his work a little too much.
Lou’s speech and personality feel eerily unreal; laughing alone, grinning after sentences that aren’t that funny, and spewing phrase after phrase from self improvement seminars. At first he comes across as a socially awkward man, and later is revealed to be much more intentional, intelligent and deeply sinister. I felt very extremely uncomfortable whenever he interacted with other humans.
One of my favourite things about this film is that it seems so human. Everyone has flaws, people turn a blind eye to things they ordinarily might not, simply for self-gain. The lack of morality and the ease at which the characters accept the questionable acts leaves you wondering whether there really are people out there like that, while deep down you know there are. You can see where the film is going from a certain point, and you go along for the ride because you’re curious to see the outcome – that is the sign of a good film.
James Newton Howard composed the soundtrack for the film and is known for his work on The Hunger Games (entire series), I Am Legend, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The music flicks from dark and sinister, to upbeat and oddly ironic themes throughout the film and tie it all together very well.
Jake Gyllenhaal has been a great actor in everything I’ve seen him in, and this is actually my favourite film for him. He looks like he lost quite a bit of weight in his face for the role to accentuate the creepy aura Lou gives off, and the awkward stance he holds throughout the film. Jake is capable of playing varying roles, from comedy to action, and the role of Lou suits him due to the strong features and brilliant smile.
I hope you enjoyed reading my “review” of this film and hopefully it didn’t spoil too much for you. I really recommend watching it. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment and I’ll see about watching it!