Nightcrawler – Review

Genre: Crime, Thriller
Director: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton
Running Time: 117 minutes

Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut Nightcrawler is about Louis Bloom, a thief turned crime journalist based in Los Angeles. The story shows us Bloom’s obsession with his work and to what extent he can go to justify it.

The movie begins with brilliant night shots of Los Angeles. A light and soothing background music makes up the mood of the scene. The empty highway, the unoccupied bus station, the street lights and other shots of the city keep on rolling along with the opening credits. Within the first five minutes of the movie we are introduced to the main protagonist, Louis Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The first scene we see Bloom, he tries to sneak into a restricted area and gets stopped by a security guard. He confronts the security guard and ends up stealing his watch. Desperate to get work, one night while driving by a car accident scene, he meets Joe Loder (played by Bill Paxton), who records videos of accidents and crimes that occur across Los Angeles.

Next morning while surfing through the news channels, Bloom finds the video telecast of last night’s accident. This gives him the idea of filming and selling videos to the media. He sells off his bicycle to buy a camcorder and a police scanner. This begins Bloom’s journey as a freelance crime journalist.

Rene Russo plays the character of Nina Romina, an independent woman who is the director of a news channel. She takes interest in Bloom’s work and encourages him. Later on Bloom hires an sidekick (played by Riz Ahmed) to assist him in his work.

Bill Paxton and Riz Ahmed have small but very effective roles as they help to build up the darkness in Bloom’s character. Rene Russo gives a good performance but Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Louis Bloom stands out tall.

The film has been predominantly shot in the night, with Gyllenhaal’s character slipping into every crime scene or any sort of mayhem. Thus explaining the title ‘Nightcrawler‘. Gilroy’s writing and direction is undoubtedly praiseworthy.

After tasting success in Brokeback Mountain and Prisoners, Gyllenhaal gives one of his best performances to light up this eloquent, communicative and ambitious character. The movie gets darker as it progresses and ends with a strong message.

Phrases like ‘a modern masterpiece’, ‘deliriously thrilling’, ‘destined to be a classic’ and ‘pulse pounding thriller’ have been linked with the film. So treat yourselves with this amazing crime thriller and I bet you won’t be disappointed.

Akash Chaudhuri
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