‘Nightcrawler’ sneaks into box office

I hadn’t heard of “Nightcrawler” until only a couple of weeks before it was released. It’s probably because I don’t have cable, but that’s neither here nor there.

As soon as I saw the trailer, however, I was immediately interested in Jake Gyllenhaal’s lead performance as a sketchy, wide-eyed Lou Bloom. To be honest, I only had a general idea of what the movie was about after the preview, but I knew had to see it just for this character. Something just told me that with Gyllenhaal, it was going to give an exceptional performance and he didn’t disappoint.

Lou Bloom is an inherently mysterious man, but not the attractive kind of mysterious – the creepy kind. He’s the type of guy who would show up if you were on a subway by yourself in the middle of the night, and you couldn’t be sure if he’s a mean guy or if he’s just that creepy, but you keep your distance just to be safe.

Bloom uses his immense intelligence and determination and he utilizes them to become the best “Nightcrawler” that Los Angeles has to offer. If you don’t know, these are the guys who show up to film and sell videos of car crashes, murders and fires – ya know, all the violent stuff –  to local news stations.

Each decision Bloom makes and the way that he gives those around him the sense that he doesn’t know any better all serve as a means to an end for his own personal gain. The scariest part about this character, though, is that we as the viewer gradually begin to realize that he always knows exactly what he’s doing when he is manipulating each person he interacts with; he is extremely calculating and his intentions are always bad.

In fact, Gyllenhaal plays this role so perfectly that he basically makes his fellow cast members as trivial and replaceable as the character he is playing does at every turn.

First-time director Dan Gilroy also showed great skill and confidence in this film, and deserves just as much credit for its success as Gyllenhaal. He takes a lot of chances and almost all of them pay off. Watching this movie from the opening credits to the end credits, you get the feeling that this director is very confident in exactly where he is steering the viewer with each intricate detail that he sews into the plot.

“Nightcrawler” is basically a one-man show, but you never really feel like you need anyone other than Gyllenhaal to entertain you, and the rest of the characters become a necessary means to an end for Bloom.




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