Thursday, March 12, 2015

Movie Review: Nightcrawler

In the movie, Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal play an unscrupulous petty thief named "Lou" who doesn't care who he hurts or what laws he breaks. And Gyllenhaal  plays Lou with such relish and gusto that by the end of the movie you hate Lou (as you should).

When the movie begins, Lou is stealing metals. A fast talker and obviously intelligent, he is nearly a textbook case of a sociopath. And when he discovers the world of freelance news video in Los Angeles, he goes into business finding a new outlet for his psychosis. To get the perfect shot with his camera he will change crime scenes, move bodies, or withhold evidence from the police.

It's hard not to admire Lou a bit as he works hard and builds his business (at one point he says "Good things come to those who work their ass off") but the ruthlessness he displays changes all that. He steals an expensive bicycle to finance his entry into business. He "hires" an assistant but never pays him.

Gyllenhaal did an amazing job portraying Lou, making him slimy and charming at the same time. The action scenes are well done and the pace is taut. The photography, mostly night exteriors, is just creepy enough to keep you wondering what nasty surprise is coming next. At one point I jumped when a gun went off.

A movie well worth watching and an interesting study into a sociopath personality. My one small quibble has to do with the climax, but to avoid spoilers, I won't talk about it. But it's not enough to ruin a very good film

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