So I recently watched Nightcrawler on Netflix. I’ve been wanting to see this movie since it came out last year so I was happy to see it added to Netflix this month. Now that I’ve seen it, I don’t even know where to begin in talking about it. I guess I’ll start off by saying whether I liked it or not since there will be spoilers later on. I did enjoy the movie, and I would recommend it. It was well acted, with an especially great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal. It was a great thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. If you have any interest in watching this movie, you should stop reading here and go watch it first. I can’t say much more without getting into spoilers.
Louis Bloom is a god damn sociopath, this man should be in jail! I should probably get into some background first. Bloom is a stringer, a freelance photographer that sells reports to news stations. I had no idea this was an actual career before watching Nightcrawler but I think I can safely assume that the movie is taking some liberties with its portrayal. So Gyllenhaal’s character starts out as a thief (who also commits an assault early on) who stumbles upon a career as a stringer. After some trial and error, he finally gets some footage good enough to sell to a news station. He agrees to an exclusivity deal with a local station and its morning news director, Nina (played by Renee Russo). Now, Nina isn’t a great person either, she has no problems airing graphic images of the victim of a carjacking even against protests from her producer (at least I think that’s who Frank was). She basically tells Lou that more graphic the story the better. He gets quite good at his new job and sells several stories. I don’t know about other places, but where I live the images shown on the news are nowhere near as graphic as what the station in the movie airs. I feel a lot of this stuff wouldn’t be allowed to air, during a montage of his work I caught glimpses of titles such as “Headless Boy Found” and “Toddler Stabbed.” I can’t imagine images from these stories being very pleasant, especially on the morning news. So during all of this, Lou hires and assistant to help him navigate. I felt so bad for Rick, he was young and desperate for money. He didn’t deserve the treatment he got from Lou. It’s in these interactions with Rick, as well as Nina, that you really see just how much of a sociopath this man is. He’s very cold and calculating and doesn’t show emotion like a stable individual. At one point he even tries to force Nina into a relationship with him in return for his continued news footage. Not only is he a complete sociopath, he’s also commits so many crimes throughout this movie. He tampers with crime scenes (moving a body at a car wreck just to get a better shot), he unlawfully enters people’s homes, and he withholds evidence that ultimately gets people killed. It’s not often that I find myself rooting against the main character, but I really wanted to see this man end up in jail by the end. When he arrives on the scene of a triple homicide before the police, he films the crime in progress and records the men responsible and gets their licence plate. He sells the story, which airs despite being deeply immoral, but he holds onto the real evidence. Detectives show up at Lou’s apartment to question his about the footage and he flat-out lies (something he’s very good and convincing at) to them about what he knows. He keeps this information to himself, against protests from Rick, so that he can use it to his advantage in getting a good news story. This ultimately leads to a shootout with the police and the men responsible for the earlier murders at a restaurant and then a car chase ensues. Lou joins the chase which ends with the guy being gunned down by police. Rick gets killed by the gunman because Lou lies and says that he’s dead and safe to film. He shows absolutely no remorse for him and says it was a necessary loss to achieve his business goals. What a fucking scumbag. The detectives try to pull the tapes from the news, citing them as evidence, and bring Lou in for questioning. Even though I’ve spoiled so much already, I won’t give away the actual ending. Let’s just say that, in my eyes, it wasn’t a happy one.
Even with all of its insanity and blatant lawbreaking, this was a good movie. It had an interesting plot and I felt that it was fairly well-paced. Thrillers are meant to keep you on the edge and this one certainly delivers. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Nightcrawler and I hope you stayed tuned for more. See ya next time!