In theatres this Friday from director/writer Dan Gilroy and Open Road comes a look into the darkness of a NIGHTCRAWLER.
The film tells the story of Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a man who is seeking to make his mark – in what has been his problem. That is until a twist of fate brings him to an accident on the freeway in Los Angeles. In that moment he knows what he is to be doing.
He decides to become a nightcrawler, a freelancer who roams the L.A. streets at night with a police scanner and a camera filming car crashes, fires and even murder. Learning as he goes along, Lou catches on quickly by watching other nightcrawlers.
His work begins to pay as the local television station editor Nina (Rene Russo) steers Lou to stories that will catch the viewer’s attention and leave them wanting more. Hiring Rick (Riz Ahmed) off the street, literally, the two begin the long nights of waiting for the right moment.
One night they arrive at a call before the police and what Lou captures on film is a game changers – but it is how the game is changed that is more than anyone could have imagined!
FINAL WORD: Gyllenhaal as Lou is awesomely disturbing to watch. Everything he does is deliberate – from stealing manhole covers to getting the angles right, there is nothing that can get in his way. From the moment Gyllenhaal is on the screen it is not only his physical appearance that captured my attention (although there way that to be sure) but the ability to say exactly what he wanted to say brilliantly without missing a beat. The character of Lou is dark and oozes sociopath and if that isn’t enough, Gyllenhaal adds a Lou-smile that sent a shockwave down my spine!
Russo as Nina gives the appearance of a over spackled former news woman who has been losing her edge for quite some time. Nina get’s her groove kick started when Lou shows up to remind her how good it can be to be back on top of the news mountain. Russo gives Nina the killer instinct to point protégé Lou in the right direction until the student becomes the master!
Ahmed as Rick comes off the street and eats up everything Lou dishes out. Not the smartest cookie in the jar making it is easy for Lou to manipulate the hungry young man. Watching his ‘boss’ (having to use that term loosely in this case) begin to make money, Rick finds the voice to ask for what’s his.
Other cast include Kent Shocknek, Sharon Tay, Carolyn Gilroy, Ann Cusack as Linda, Kevin Rahm as Frank Kruse and Bill Paxton as Joe Loder.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give NIGHTCRAWLER four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. It is clear that Gyllenhaal steals this film from beginning to end. His character is everything disconcerting on the outside and terrifying on the inside. In the world of instant news, TMZ and paparazzi that provide the pictures, Gilroy lays the gritty and dirty groundwork while Gyllenhaal seals the deal.
This if Gilroy’s directorial debut having watched others bring his six previous screenplays to film. Pairing with his brother Tony Gilroy as a producer, “I was in a very advantageous place by having my brother Tony comes on as the producer. Tony’s experience and position allowed him to run interference on a lot of crucial, elemental aspect of what we did, or were allowed to do.”
This is clearly a well done film from every angle – cinematography (adding John Gilroy to the Gilroy mix), casting, music and two hard working brothers who took a script and gave me many a jaw dropping moment. What stands out is how ‘getting the shot’ has become the money maker that comes in fast and furious desensitizing the world. Each story has to be bigger, filled with more of something – whether it be blood, blowing up or crashing – there just has to be more!
Take time this weekend to see NIGHTCRAWLER, I’d love to hear what you think because this is definitely a conversation film and a conversation worth having.
In the end – the city shines brightest at night!