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As the obsessed Jake Gyllenhaal fan that I am, I was ecstatic to hear he would be coming out in a new thriller, one of his signature movie genres. He is known for playing complex, even disturbed characters, but in his most recent film “Nightcrawler,” Gyllenhaal shows that he could be one of the best character actors in Hollywood.
The movie follows Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) and his steps into the realm of video news in Los Angeles. Through his interest in accidents/injuries, as well as his infatuation with the female news anchor, Nina, (Rene Russo) he falls in love with crime journalism. Once he spots a video crew capturing grisly scenes, Bloom buys a camcorder and, with his manipulative charm, builds his own freelance video business with his partner Rick (Riz Ahmed). You see his transformation from a petty thief into a sociopathic saboteur of journalism, and even personal lives.
Even though the whole movie took place in the dirty city of Los Angeles. It was full of beautiful shots of the city at night; the camera work was almost always visually intriguing. Not only was the scenery pretty, but Gyllenhaal’s 30 lb. weight loss was even more prominent in the film. His huge eyes and prominent cheekbones intensify the eeriness to Gyllenhaal’s already scary character.
I give “Nightcrawler” an A because it is a crime thriller unlike any other. It features themes of media, morality as well as themes of obsession and control. With just a few characters in the film, the actors did a wonderful job delivering the complexity of motifs. The vivid but also dark colors captured by the camera work was a major contributor to the essence grasped in “Nightcrawler.”