Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as its central character is not just one of the most impressive films of this year; it’s perhaps an impactful film of every year. The moment it starts, we feel the chilly atmosphere of the night, and then encountering a man known as Lou Bloom, limned by Gyllenhaal, whom is as cunning as a fox and way too devious as a Jackal. But, Lou Bloom is also frightening; he is as closely dangerous as a naked twisted wire on the wet floor. Such personality, given to Lou by writer/director Dan Gilroy, is a point that must be noted, for when you’re a writer, you better be on the spot and alert when it comes to creating a character, and most importantly how to make that character utterly memorable.
When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles in the world of Los Angeles crime journalism; he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, played Rene Russo, a TV-news veteran.
Dan Gilroy’s devoted attention is in the style of shooting a simple-conceptual edge of your seat thriller, almost entirely shot at night, that gains its support from the so-great performances, and composer James Newton Howard’s always impressive score defining the personality of the character as much as the streets of Los Angeles, and that chilly-night sky of the city – Nightcrawler, is the perfect term to define Lou Bloom; he is beyond the position he is in, for the character arrives to a point he’s no longer starving. Lou is addicted and can’t get enough of the taste and smell of success. He’s an animal, a mean, cold-blooded man crawling at night desperately for the sake of crawling a bit higher in the field.
Dan’s cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood), has shot the city of Los Angeles in the film from a different view. In Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral’ (2004), which was also shot in Los Angeles, the city is more of a character, whereas, for Lou Bloom the city is more of a playground; Nightcrawler, shot on film and digital, paints a different imagery, making it feel often frenetic, which makes sense, for the city is seen from the point of view of the character. Jake Gyllenhaal, whom deserves an academy award nomination, has travelled beneath the skin of the character. He’s not to be recognized. His eyes, the face, and the smile, as soon as it appears, you don’t know for sure if it’s real or artificial. Even if that smile on Lou’s face is real, I won’t be smiling back. There’s something up with the man. Is he untouchable? – perhaps he is. Great film making happens only when the art of it is closely attached to, not just with the mind, but with heart. The result of great filmmaking is Nightcrawler.
This is Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut; scaring me so good like this, I wonder what the director will bring next to the screens once the industry facilities stand behind him.