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    November 6, 2014


    Review: Jake Gyllenhaal's luck must have taken a turn for good lately as his string of movies proved that the actor may be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Dan Gilroy’s "Nightcrawler" follows up Gyllenhaal's successive outings in other well-received films such as David Ayer’s "End of Watch", Duncan Jones’ "Source Code", Denis Villeneuve’s "Prisoners" and "Enemy"; all of which effectively put aside Gyllenhaal’s boyish look for more daunting performances and darker roles to impress. Similarly, this movie also marks Dan Gilroy's directorial debut, which earns him with well-deserved praise on the basis of a strong screenplay that utilizes heavily upon the excellent examination of character study, socioeconomic commentary, and bizarre morality setup.

    Inside "Nightcrawler"; is a story with enough sturdy and intense character-based thriller. It chronicles a young man's journey to become a successful freelance news reporter against the crime world of Los Angeles. Bloom (Gyllenhaal) starts out as a jobless nocturnal scrap-scavenger that pawns almost everything he can grab (or steal) for quick cash. But on one evening, he stumbles upon a team of amateur freelance video stringers (Bill Paxton and Eric Lange) at an accident site, who works by selling their news footage to the highest bidder (TV news network). And he instantly hooked up to the idea. In the hope of seizing the opportunity for better money, Bloom arms himself with a low-end camera and a police scanner to vulture his own story. His first attempt of reporting a carjacking manages to capture the attention of Nina (Rene Russo), an executive in a struggling news network and is desperate to improve the network’s ratings. Bloom's impressive sighting and bold instinct captivate her, but she wants something more "bloody" for her viewers.

    Doing double duty as the director and writer, Dan Gilroy works his way around the story and frame like a seasoned-pro. After all, Gilroy is an excellent screenwriter as he gives “Nightcrawler” a well-balanced, thought-provoking story, dark humours and intense pacing. In reality, this movie is coated with great display of character stories. In Lou, Gilroy breathes an uneasiness aura around him as he does not appear anywhere normal. Despite his lack of formal study, he is able to recite powerful Econ 101 philosophies through his convincing business pitch. He is also amazing when learning new things, which comes in hand with his psychotic behaviours and minds. And for these, Gyllenhaal dons the character with the verbatim amount of creepiness. Equally on the opposite, Rene Russo plays Nina with interesting charm and herself a morally ambiguous character that is willing to sacrifice ethics in order to survive. More aptly, she compares her unconventional philosophy of journalism as ''Think of our newscast as a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut.''

    Far-stretched in the plot itself is an embedded discussion with allusions that comes very close to the current predicament. In “Nightcrawler”, Gilroy smartly mixes the hardcore sociology and ideology with the satirical black humour, resulting in an interesting mean of conveying the chilling messages – that morality crumbles and greed looms in the face of the ego and financially driven society, and that the state of our mass media is morally dubious. These thought-provoking ideas have a deep attachment that makes you think about it even after you leave the theatre – so powerful is the masterpiece of manipulation that is well displayed in Louis. Experienced cinematographer Robert Elswit shoots the frames with perfect sync with the darker tones of the movie, amazingly transforming the city of angel into the playground of ambiguity.

    If there is a problem with “Nightcrawler”, I find the ending to be the least favourite part. How many times do we have to deal with antiheroes getting away from their deceptions and manipulations. But then, of course, the idea we get from this movie is neither to condone nor to condemn these acts, instead we may have to face the truth that is gripping the society. At the end of the day, “Nightcrawler” is a chilling and creepy allusion that reminds us the situation in the world that we are facing, all thanks to a smartly devised plot that makes use of its compelling character’s richness and a brilliant career-defining performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. A

    Numerical Rating (In case you are also interested):
    Story: 4.5
    Casts: 5.0
    Cinematography: 5.0
    Effects: 4.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 18.7/20.0


    Info Dashboard:
    Casts: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Ann Cusack
    Distributor: GSC Movies
    Director: Dan Gilroy
    Screenplay: Dan Gilroy
    Rating: 18
    Release date: 30 October 2014
    Running time: 117 minutes
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