‘There’s something of the night about him,’ a phrase once synonymous with a certain member of the British Government and which can easily be applied to Lou Bloom, the nervy, boggle eyed sociopath in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. Bloom, in a brilliant performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, is a gurning loner, who we first meet trying to steal wire fencing from the side of a train line. He awakes at the crack of dawn to find new job opportunities that will allow him to utilize the self-improvement/managerial patois he distills from online courses.
Becoming an eyewitness to a police rescue introduces Bloom to the world of nightcrawling, wherein amateur camera crews peddle their newsworthy footage of crime scenes to the highest bidder. With the success of some bloody footage, Bloom manages to get his feet under the table at the local news studio and sets his sights on its morning news director, Nina (Rene Russo) Seemingly comfortable to sell to only one station, Bloom evolves into an overconfident cameraman, who values the importance of getting the right shot, regardless of the methods used to obtain it.
Gyllenhaal is on fire as Bloom, managing to straddle that line between deeply unlikeable and utterly pitiful. His overwrought monologues are a particular highlight. Witness him as he spits out his verbal diarrhea to Rick, his put upon ‘intern’ played brilliant by Riz Ahmed. To Bloom, they’re passages of gold that enrapture his audience. To everyone else, they’re fluctuate between boring and deeply violent.
Nightcrawler is a beast of a film, which latches onto the jugular. Gilroy has crafted a stunning piece of work that, like Bloom himself, fascinates and unnerves in equal measure. Put simply: You need to see this film.