Monday, December 8, 2014


Nightcrawler follows the meteoric rags to riches rise of Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a crime scene paparazzi or 'nightcrawler'.  Our protagonist is dark and macabre, callously manipulating and exploiting everyone around him in pursuit of his own selfish goals and desires.  His closest friend and business colleague, a male prostitute turned intern in Jake's fledgling business, is sacrificed on the altar of profit and prudence and his love interest is savagely entrapped into a sexual relationship through blackmail.

It was an incredible picture.  The dialogue is intelligent and humorous.  Much of Lou's speech mimics the terminology of the modern business world.  This veiled criticism of modern developed capitalism completely misses the mark.  The market is not a cruel, savage place where only ruthless individuals who harm everyone around them succeed but is instead peaceful social cooperation where people make mutually beneficial trades.  It is the state, not the market, which can be described as the rule of the jungle in which some benefit only at the expense of others.  The central issue with the media in today's society, that it acts as a megaphone for the voices of power, is not really discussed at all in this film.

Inevitably and predictably our hero crosses the line between observing the news and creating it although at least the producers of this film spared us the gory and trite path of putting Gyllenhaal on a wanton crime spree.  Instead he subtly manipulates events and benefits from the resulting chaos and carnage.   Powerful questions are raised about the line between an individual's right to privacy and the role the media plays in covering events, as well as ethical questions concerning news coverage.  The film was exciting and fresh, with virtuoso performances by Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed (Lou Bloom's idiot sidekick, Rick).

No comments:

Post a Comment