HOLLYWOOD—If you’re a fan of the world of journalism, any film that tackles that world is greatly appreciated. However, it’s not easy to craft a dramatic thriller that revolves around the world of journalism, but if done with poise it can be a sensation. “Nightcrawler,” no this is not a spin-off from the comic book “X-Men,” but a man driven to succeed at all cost.
Jake Gyllenhaal delivers the performance of a lifetime as Louis ‘Lou’ Bloom, who stumbles upon the world of crime journalism when he films a car accident. Lou soon discovers that he might have something here and begins capturing footage from more hard crime incidents and selling the footage to newsroom director Nina (Rene Russo).
We all know that hard news sells newspapers and get viewers to tune in, but this movie takes the notion to new and dangerous heights. He alters crime scenes, places himself in very dangerous situations, all for a thrill at times. He’s testing to see how far he can push himself without fully getting in to deep. He blackmails people; he’s morally and ethically without any boundaries.
Gyllenhaal injects a level of frenetic energy to a character who is a bit unbalanced, always on edge and pushing the boundaries. As an actor, it’s a role that some actors dream about; the ability to full absorb themselves into a role and to allow the character to take them to new heights. The audience will almost find it impossible to take their eyes away from the screen while watching the movie.
The audience will sort of have a love/hate relationship with our protagonist/antagonist; he’s polarizing, nearly self-centered to a degree, a reflection of the audience looking at themselves. Doing all that could be possible to attain that ‘success’ that so many of us crave after.
Writer and director Dan Gilroy proves his ferocity behind the camera, not only capturing performances and depicting a film that raises the concern of what might really transpire behind the scenes in the world of journalism, but taking the audience on the journey of a character that starts off a bit balanced, someone you want to root for, slowly spiral into darker and darker realms. You want him to get caught, but there is always that slightest bit of doubt that it will never happen.
Audiences are not fans of the villain getting away with mischievous deeds in any movie, book or TV show that we might entertain ourselves with. Good always outweighs evil, but “Nightcrawler” poses that question that sometimes, sometimes good doesn’t always win in the end.