When Lou Bloom, desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran.
**Survival of the Batsh!t Craziest** Here we have a sociopath for the digital age. A _Taxi Driver_ for the early 21st Century. Louis Bloom might have been born yesterday, just before taking an online course in Small Business Management, the new way to self-educate, without the petty annoyances of human contact and interaction. Every basic lesson he absorbed is put to the test with the obsessive solitary singular purpose of succeeding. Jake Gyllenhaal immerses himself in the role with psychotic stupor. He speaks with the same forward-plotting conviction whether tossing about obvious clichés or revealing something brilliant. The perfect entrepreneur. A maniacal detached idiot savant on a ruthless predatory mission. Morality and the legal system are minor roadblocks to dodge, riddles to resolve, sentiments to overcome. His brand of narcissistic psychosis is a genetic mutation that insures the survival of the species. Like an Aryan bulldozer, he cripples and kills the weak, exploiting the flaws in humanity, cannibalizing the limits of civilization, and capitalizing on each opportunity every step of the way, all for his own personal gain. All while intuiting which backs to scratch and/or stab and when. The perfect entrepreneur. The quintessential post-9/11 movie hero. Where Travis Bickle sought to take down corruption to rescue the innocent, Louis Bloom does the opposite, preying on the fallen and severing the social codes and mores that bind us for his own solitary success. American Exceptionalism. Nightcrawler is nanoeconomics in its purest, most wicked and vicious form. I'm sure some may see it not so much as a comment on what ails us but as an inspiration to venture out from, and Bloom as a persistent determined role model to imitate. How-to-Succeed-in Business-Without-Feeling. Humanity is merely a construct that can be subjugated, an apparatus to dismantle, a child's toy for the child that wants it all.
'Nightcrawler' is a neo noir thriller starring a very impressive (and thin) Jake Gyllenhaal which cleverly satirises the media industry's obsession with horror and violence. The poster's correlation with Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' is a very clear choice because they are very similar in how they're made in terms of themes and even soundtrack. The film is also very similar to Martin Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver' and David Fincher's 'Seven' as the cinematography is very bleak and dark. The story is disturbingly gripping as the audience view Lou Bloom's rise as an amateur journalist who seems to do anything to get the best footage of horrific crime scenes. What's more shocking are the news channels that purchase his work claiming "if it bleeds, it leads!". Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant in the starring role as he seems creepy but also powerful and shrewd. ★★★★
I find it truly amazing that Jake Gyllenhaal did not win nor was even nominated for an Oscar for this stunning performance as Louis Bloom. Makes me wonder how much of who gets nominated and who wins rides on insider politics and not on merit. Or how many Oscar noms and wins are "gifts" in the respect that either an actor has a catalog of wonderful performances and has never won (Henry Fonda comes to mind for "On Golden Pond")or the effort put into as role somehow makes it an Oscar winning performance (Leo DiCaprio in "The Revenant"). Gyllenhaal becomes his character; a feral, single minded, means justify the end "bottom feeder" catering to the worst in humanity - our seemingly built in need to view others pain. He sees nothing at all wrong with what he does or how he goes about it. Easily he is most believable sociopath I have seen on film. In a performance marked by many stand out moments perhaps the most galvanizing one is not an action sequence but a quiet moment (before a storm) where he tells an employee that "Maybe my problem isn't that I don't understand people, but that I don't like them." How his work was over looked for an Oscar is beyond what good acting warrants and indeed must fall within the machinery of Hollywood backroom politics. Going by IMDb, he was nominated for outstanding acting by just about every other award given in entertainment except the Academy. Maybe perhaps his Lou Bloom was too good and looking at this work, for Hollywood, was like looking into the darkest darkness; understanding the reflection they saw in it was themselves.