Box Office Report: “Nightcrawler”

Box Office Report: “Nightcrawler”

“Nightcrawler” is a film that was well aware of its intentions from the outset.

The first thing we see in the film is the lead character beat someone up for a watch when that someone catches him stealing scrap metal.

By showing us this as the opening scene, we know that Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a sociopath with only one goal in mind: making money. One cannot forget this moment as the film goes on, because it is this that allows Lou to do whatever he wants without confusing the audience.

“Nightcrawler” is about so much more than a man who wants to be a crime journalist in L.A., because the fact of the matter is, that’s not even what he wants to be at all. Lou wants nothing more than to make money, whether it’s through responsible business or through simply stealing everything worth more than a few cents.

He repeats over and over again his personal philosophies and talks endlessly about what makes a good business to his only employee and partner, Rick (Riz Ahmed). It is through the constant barrage of allusions to the American Dream that even the most uninterested viewer could tell this film is about more than meets the eye.

“Nightcrawler” takes the vision of success in a big city and twists it and turns it on its head. But I can assure you, no matter how perverted Lou Bloom is as an individual; you will still be rooting for him to make it to the top. That is the strangest part of this film; we are so caught up in this man’s success story that we forget he is going about it completely wrong.

Lou Bloom is simply doing what he is told to do in America, albeit in a very roundabout way. Another key thing to note about this character is that he has no genuine interest in journalism. At the outset of the film, he is asking a scrapyard owner if he is hiring — the same scrapyard owner he is selling his stolen metal to.

So what does Lou want to be: a criminal or a hardworking citizen?

To him it does not matter. He wants to be successful and he believes he can achieve that success if he is able to raise the balance on his checking account.

What I am trying to illustrate here is that our main character is not what he seems to be, and by noticing that fact you will have a much fuller understanding of the film. Dan Gilroy, who wrote and directed the film, did a phenomenal job of keeping the underlying theme of the American Dream constant without explicitly stating it.

Through extremely driven characters and a concise original plot, he was able to create a film that I believe is a serious contender at the Academy Awards. The dialogue he constructed for this film is heavily layered in deep meaning and character development.

It should also be noted that this is probably the knockout performance of Gyllenhaal’s career. He lost considerable weight to give off the disheveled look of Lou Bloom and gave us an aura of creepiness from beginning to end. He was cast beautifully for the role and didn’t hold back one ounce on the dry sociopathic elements that we see all throughout the picture.

All in all, the film was excellent. I’m not really a fan of rewatching films, but if it were in a situation where I would have the privilege of showing a friend this film for the first time, I would most certainly do so.

My Rating: 9/10

Current IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Jack is a sophomore in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]