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Film review: Gyllenhaal kills it with Lou Bloom performance in ‘Nightcrawler’

By Jesse Saunders


Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post.

It’s not a question of when “Nightcrawler” crosses the line, but if there was even a line to begin with. Thrilling action mixed with one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s best characters to date, it’s no wonder “Nightcrawler” keeps its audiences on the edge of their seats.

In a sea of sickly sweet romances, “Nightcrawler” dares to give audiences a protagonist that can only be described as despicable.

Inspired by grisly car wreckage, Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) decides to go from freelance petty criminal to Nightcrawler, hunting the streets of LA for news footage. With each successful clip, Bloom becomes more and more deranged and will do anything to keep his winning streak.

The atmosphere is more stressful than most horror movies because unlike any strange slasher or demon, Lou Bloom feels real. He’s the personification of the dark side of humanity we all know exists, tied up in a quirky package. Blackmail, obstruction of justice, even murder are just simple obstacles on this crazed protagonist path to success.

The characters unwrap Bloom’s dimensions and unsavory personality along with the audience, and a man that started off simply as a quirky petty thief becomes a vision of nightmares. The films atmosphere is always kept high tension even during casual conversation.

The soundtrack and cinematography play off each other to create a film that you can’t take your eyes off of.

Despite a strong cast of small, but well-developed characters, this is still truly a one-man show. Gyllenhaal makes great use of every moment of screen time and makes the unbelievable character of Lou Bloom a reality.

The dialogue only works due to the masterful hold Gyllenhaal has on it. Watching Bloom is like watching a car crash, you desperately want to look away and feel upset but it captures every part of your being. Every word out of Bloom’s mouth is venom disguised as candy.

Dan Gilroy shines in his directorial debut while still managing as an amazing writer. The finished product is one from a director that obviously knows what he wants and how to make all the different pieces fit together to achieve it.

“Nightcrawler” covers such heavy subjects and shows the darker side of the journalism world while still remaining entertaining for those who don’t want to dig into the commentary and subtext. No scene is usual, and at a run time of two hours, the story falls into place perfectly.

If nothing else, “Nightcrawler” is a team effort, whether it be visual, audio, directing, writing or acting, each member of the crew puts their all into the production. Flaws are few and far between, leaving an amazing film.

Each scene tops the previous, leading up to a climax that will leave you wide eyed and completely shocked. “Nightcrawler” stays quick and tight the whole way through, creating what might be considered one of the best thrillers of the year.

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