Photo Credit: NerdDepository.com From left Rene Russo as Nina Romina and Jake GyllenHaal as Luis Bloom in “NightCrawler”
Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be on the art house scene as of late continuing his “winning” streak with yet another powerful performance in Dan Gilroy’s NightCrawler. A film about a street scavenger, that sells metals and other precious stolen items for cash. Only to becomes an overnight sensation as a news videographer selling his frames of pain to the highest bidder. Gyllenhaal who has garnered critical acclaim for roles in Enemy and Prisoner, adds another creepy role to his resume’ as Luis Bloom. A sociopath that knows how to get what he wants, and will do anything to ensure his needs are met.
One night after peddling stolen goods, Bloom stops at a hit-and-run and questions the videographer Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) about his job; Joe responds adequately “If it bleeds, it leads”. Bloom lingers with excitement and realizes he is interested in this kind of work. Steals a bike and trades it for a camcorder and police scanner at your friendly neighborhood pawn shop.
Nina Romina (Rene Russo) is a news director at KWLA, a local news station in the greater Los Angeles area with low ratings that specializes in the urban crime. Bloom captures the end result of a carjacking in which the victim was shot and leaves via ambulance. The material is graphic, but Nina loves it and it airs without question for morality or regard of the individuals therein. Nina is a reincarnated Faye Dunaway straight out of Network, as she demands chaos from her team proclaiming, “I want a woman with her throat slit walking the streets!” Not exactly subtle, but those familiar with similar material know this behavior and the result of it. Bloom eventually negotiates their relationship outside of the office as he continues to bring in more content that is up close and personal. Notably a bullet riddled fridge with family photos and the family holding each other in pain.
Bloom however, can’t do this on his own as he hires a bum by the name of Rick (Riz Ahmed) to navigate him to fresh scenes and watch the car. Which undergoes its own transformation as well as his transportation was a beater hatchback, but ends up a bright fiery red Dodge Challenger, This enables him to get to the scene of the crime much quicker.
Bloom one night arrives as the crime is happening. He captures armed men leaving the home and then films all of the important scenes in the house, dead people included. Which gives him even more sway at the news station and propels him to make news happen. Bloom knows the criminals from his recording and sets things in motion. What results is a disastrous car chase and interview with the police and rightly so. One can’t simply record and broadcast these things and expect the authorities simply sit by and watch.
NightCrawler is certainly some counter programing to enjoy as big budget films like MockingJay Part 1 debuts and the end of the month and Chris Nolan’s space odyssey Interstellar lands in theatres on Friday.