I saw this film on a recommendation of a buddy of mine; he liked it a lot. Therefore, I went to the theater to see Nightcrawler (2014) with high expectations – and I wasn’t disappointed.
Until I saw this film, I didn’t know what a “nightcrawler” was (other than a big, fat worm…). In the film, it’s a term used to describe free-lance videographers who capture footage then sell it to the local television news. And Lewis Bloom [Jake Gyllenhaal] is very good at being a nightcrawler.
One might argue that he’s too good at it…
This film gripped me more and more as the story unfolded, and the look-under-a-rock at a segment of society it provides is pretty darn slimy. From the slugs who take the footage to the “journalists” (quotes intended) who use it – it’s just a whole lotta bad news (pun intended).
In fact for me, one of the more disturbing aspects of this film wasn’t the fictional story (good as it was), but rather, the thought that this type of thing might well serve as the “news” (quotes still intended) being cranked out for our consumption. Expressions such as, “If it bleeds, it leads” are common when describing a lot of television news, and of course one need look no further than any of the prominent 24/7 cable new outlets to find an alarming amount of non-news being chundered out upon an undiscriminating public.
In some ways this bothers me even more so than the events depicted in this film…
Be that as it may, though, I liked this slimy little movie. Jake Gyllenhaal was superb with his very understated performance – and the whole thing just worked (in a nasty sort of way).