Title: Nightcrawler

Director: Dan Gilroy

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed

It’s almost criminal thinking that there are some people who don’t have Jake Gyllenhaal on their list of talented actors. He’s always been one of those slightly under-the-radar actors who’s continually pushed himself to the limit with his skills, improving and helping bring great stories out to the big screen through collaborating his talents with others. ‘Nightcrawler’ is a fine example of what a dedicated, sharp actor Gyllenhaal is and also sculpts a great picture of filmmaker Dan Gilroy and his great understanding of this cutthroat underworld of local news.

There are many critics out there who are immediately praising Gyllenhaal’s performance, and while they’re right to do so, they shouldn’t forget the kind of storytelling Dan Gilroy is doing behind-the-scenes to make the actor really shine. Gilroy’s script really nails the general feel of the competition that recourses through Los Angeles’ veins and the really selfish, almost destructive agendas that some people have in this city. He also coats the city in a magnificent, desirable light where so much is happening, anything is obtainable in a way. It’s that kind of general allure that draws so many people in from around the world to this metropolis in the first place.

Then there’s the main protagonist Louis Bloom (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) who hinges on the point of becoming a complete sociopath with a pinch of aspergers syndrome sprinkled in there. Underneath that frail exterior is the beating heart of a man hungry to come out on top of his field no matter what the costs. The only goal for him is to succeed, b number one and there’s going to be nobody who’ll s be able to stop him. The determination is pumping through the character through the first scenes of the film as he’s desperate to get himself a job, any job. When he’s driving home one night he finds himself at the scene of an accident, and gets his first glimpse at the life of being a nightcrawler. They’re the alternative news source, a bunch of cutthroat footage scroungers who will try their hardest to get coverage of the local, breaking news at the late points of night to the highest bidder, which is the local news networks. Louis is instantly captivated by this lifestyle and makes it his mission to immerse himself into that world, get to know it and come out on top.

Everyone has been in Louis’s shoes at some point, which makes are immediate draw to him so apparent. We’ve all been bit by the bug, whether it pertains to a career or a personal endeavor that we wish to see work out in the end. The character may be a bit rough on the sides, a little bit twisted, but Louis’s unwavering drive is the key component that keeps we the viewer rooting for him, even when he’s at his worst. Then there’s his main instigator, late night news veteran Nina (played by Rene Russo) whose desperation reals in the air. She needs those fantastic clips that Louis is delivering to her because it’s going to give her a chance to stay on her job even longer. She’s ruled by this struggle for survival in her industry, and she strives off of Louis’s successes. They make a twisted couple, feeding off of each other for their own selfish purposes, but the combination of Gilroy’s script, his soft direction and their strong acting makes each scene with them onscreen this wonderful power struggle.

The only aspect of this film that may throw some viewers out of the movie deals with the streets and locations that they’re dealing with in the film. If you’ve lived in Los Angeles for a good long while, you’ll recognize that certain streets and events don’t exactly match up. Every once in awhile that’ll take viewers like myself out of the movie, but when the drama and suspense kicks in, we’re right back in.

‘Nightcrawler’ may look like a smaller film due to it’s locations, but the topics and performances expand the movie into this wonderful combination of tension and drama.

Technical: B

Acting: A

Story: A-

Overall: A-


‘Nightcrawler’ is out in theaters now.

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