Dan Gilroy’s debut into the world of directing has left audiences gasping around the globe. Their seats tremble with anticipation as this psychological thriller unwraps and unravels. Supported by critically acclaimed actor Jake Gyllenhaal and a secondary cast featuring Bill Paxton avec Kent Shockneck, the picture could easily become your favourite Friday night.
Its plot line revolves around a young unemployed man by the name of Louis, or Lou, (Gyllenhaal). He desperately tries to find an environment that would accept him, although all efforts remain fruitless. Until one dark night when fate replies in the sight of a car crash. From the blood and guts a passion is born. An on-the-edge obsession with filming gruesome crime scenes and selling them for profit slowly devours Lou. The beautiful woman behind Chanel 6 loves making business, his young partner is consumed with doubts and all of this is accompanied by aching moral dilemmas. Is it worth keeping friends when the night awaits? Or are the ever-expecting homicides and police sirens all a psychopath would need?
You’re gonna have to watch it and find out. Expect a brilliant script full of snappy conversation. The fluid speech, also written by Gilroy, keeps the attention on point while shocking with its sharp tongue. Visually, the film is stunning, offering a wide variety of picturesque establishing shots. Prepare for a grand view of the Los Angeles horizon, which is just as empty and attractive as Lou himself. Cinematographer Robert Elswit has taken care of a matching colour scheme, which relies on saturated and cold colours, thereby amplifying the severity of crime journalism. Brace the squeamish around you for a fair share of blood and injuries. With the progression of the story graphic scenery increases, culminating at the very end, when a case makes or breaks Lou’s career. Touching briefly on production design, an effort has been made to leave a retro aesthetic behind. Perhaps a tiny ode to the classic film noir mood.
Gyllenhaal’s performance is riveting. Although we daren’t expected anything less after his work on low profile flicks such as “Enemy” and “Prisoners”. His eyes remain haunting throughout, piercing through the lens. A half grin sneaks in to add a menacing effect even further. The shy mannerisms of a psychopath are subtle enough to give you the creeps, but not enough to classify as horror. That is the reality of this character, just resting on the border of love and hate, admiration and disgust.
Overall, “Nightcrawler” is a great piece of cinematic thriller. Sinister both verbally and visually, with a hint of sexuality and threat. The twists and turns will keep you engaged throughout, while the fast-pawed dialogue carries the character development forward at an escalating pace. A perfect film for any evening in, cuddle with some popcorn and enjoy the ride.