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‘Nightcrawler’ reveals the dark side of modern news

By Brandon Agalaba
Staff Writer 

Released in September of 2014, “Nightcrawler” stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom, a driven and intelligent man who is determined to have a successful career in broadcast news.

Bloom eventually gets a job as a “nightcrawler,” a person that works during the night to capture scenes of death, violence and crime on camera for television news outlets. He will do anything to make a name for himself, even if it means committing morally objectionable actions in the process.

Gyllenhaal excels in the film with his portrayal of Bloom as he blurs the line between actor and character. He succeeds in bringing out Bloom’s personality as a polite, yet creepily unnerving person.

With the guidance of director Dan Gilroy, Gyllenhaal is truly scary when he brings out the vile nature of Bloom, as seen when he screams into a mirror after he suffers a setback in his work. Gyllenhaal captures the deviousness of Bloom hidden behind his seemingly inoffensive exterior with a performance that never falters throughout the entirety of the film.

The acting from the supporting cast is also impressive. Rene Russo plays Nina Romina, a member of the news station where Bloom works. Russo portrays Romina into a cold and ruthless woman that will play any footage for the news stations, regardless of the violence it may portray or the moral implications of her actions.

Riz Ahmed plays Rick, a young man who works with Bloom. Ahmed depicts the character with such impressive energy and realism that Rick feels like someone that audience members might work with or know in their own life. It is the convincing acting throughout the film that really pulls viewers into the twisted world of “Nightcrawler.”

Gyllenhaal brings out the vile nature of his character, who is a ‘nightcrawler.’ (AP Photo)
Gyllenhaal brings out the vile nature of his character, who is a ‘nightcrawler.’ (AP Photo)

The cinematography is another strong aspect of the film. It is filmed in a clear but arresting way that shows everything that happens in vivid detail. The night scenes are filmed in a particularly interesting way, which often show strikingly dark and intense shots of Bloom speeding in his car, as well as the grisly events that Bloom captures on film.

The cinematography in “Nightcrawler” is consistently great, and it turns the film into an enthralling and always exciting affair.

Perhaps most importantly, “Nightcrawler” is a thought-provoking film. It incorporates various themes into the storyline, such as how the news today is often extremely negative, violent and ghastly. It also addresses the idea that lying about what actually happened in an event can attract more viewers, which ultimately corrupts the nature of modern news.

These themes are successfully introduced with the increasingly malevolent actions that Bloom commits throughout the film, such as when he threatens his own partner and tampers with the car of his competitor in order to get ahead. “Nightcrawler” brings up these themes in a way that is successful without patronizing the audience. The film makes you think about the state of current news, and it does so in a gripping, intense manner.

Overall, “Nightcrawler” is an extremely impressive film. It has superior acting that makes the characters believable and noteworthy, fantastic cinematography that really brings out the world that Bloom lives in and intriguing points that make the viewer contemplate how news works today. The film is a thriller that takes you through the ugly and vicious reality of nightcrawling.

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