Director: Dan Gilroy Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed
In LA, unemployed loner Lou Bloom finally finds work filming segments for local TV news, and selling them to the news stations- a practice called “nightcrawling”. He earns quite a reputation due to his camera skills and ability to get to the scenes of crime or tragedy before anyone else. One night, he witnesses first-hand a triple murder and is the only one who can identify the perpetrators.
First thing to note, despite the title this is not a superhero film (disappointingly for some, I know). Instead, Nightcrawler is a strange, dark thriller which is really quite sinister at times. Jake Gyllenhaal is great at playing a weirdo, his deadpan lines delivered to a T combined with a rather manic grin. There aren’t many characters and really, once you think about it, the plot is straight-forward and basic. There’s not really a massive climax towards the end: there’s a peak in the plot, but it doesn’t really play out in a hugely dramatic way. I quite liked this aspect, because it made me feel unnerved which in a strange way made the film more enjoyable. Throughout the whole thing, the film just gave off an odd vibe, without anything particularly odd or dramatic actually happening. In a clever, understated way it had me gripped from start to finish, playing on the mildly anxious feeling I had throughout to keep me entertained, rather than a plot filled with action or terror.
There’s no doubt that Nightcrawler is a strange film, and it’s lack of overt action might make some audiences bored. However it’s successful in always moving the plot forwards, and as I said there’s just something about it that doesn’t quite sit right, and makes you intrigued. I’d definitely recommend it for people who like quirky stuff, or who are looking for an alternative to a traditional blockbuster.