Directed by Dan Gilroy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton. Lou is an ambitious unemployed thief who works his way into the new broadcasting world as a ‘nightcrawler’, a job that often crosses the line between professional and unethical.
This is the first film I have watched in a long time where I feel a strong dislike towards the main protagonist, but which is both the film’s aim to do so and a mark of how good Jake Gyllenhaal is. The character is both fascinating and mentally disturbing which results in creating zero empathy for him as a character but which does result in creating empathy for his side-kick who speaks for the audience when he says things like ‘You’re insane’.
Set mostly at night where we see victim after victim and crash after crash and feel almost personally invaded by Lou. Though complaints were made by the internet that Jake Gyllenhaal did not receive an oscar nod for this role, you cannot help but feel this film maybe too dark to be considered. Not once do you feel comfortable with it and nothing can prepare you for the depth that Lou goes to just to obtain that perfect shot. This is easily his best role in years, a much darker serious tone reminiscent of ‘Donnie Darko’ and a large weight lose has ensured that his normally large eyes are now moon like when watching each crime scene and perhaps symbolises eyes and the moon over California.
Though at some points unsettlingly dark, it cannot be disputed the power and impact of this film. He is as disturbed as he is fascinating; as is Rene Russo’s character who enables this night time work, the combination of the two of them creates a unique sexual tension and work relationship.
The direction itself is amazing and compared to Gilroy’s other films baring ‘the fall’ the tone is so totally different it feels as though this has been made not to become a hollywood blockbuster but a smaller indie film which serves the audience more impact.
OVERALL **** Though dark and unsettling it is incredibly well directed and the acting from Jake Gyllenhaal is disturbingly impacting.
RECOMMENDATION – Not for everyone but absolutely worth a watch.