Thursday, 6 November 2014

Review: Nightcrawler (second-pass)

World of Blackout Film Review

Nightcrawler Poster

Nightcrawler (second-pass)
Cert: 15 / 117 mins / Dir. Dan Gilroy
WoB Rating: 6/7

Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler is the perfect movie for a second-pass viewing (my first review is here). Knowing what the plot holds means you can linger more over Robert Elswit's cinematography, which feels far more at home in the dark yet harshly-lit streets of Los Angeles than it ever does during the infrequent daylight scenes. You can also spend more time watching Jake Gyllenhaal's performance as Louis Bloom. His masterful performance.

Every awkward smile, nervous twitch and sideways glance creates a character who - crucially, in great cinema - acts like he doesn't know he's being watched. The sequences alone with Louis in his apartment are when we get the closest to the core of his personality, as conflicted and scattershot as that may be. Gyllenhaal brings a childlike enthusiasm to the character, but with absolutely no innocence or naivety. Calculating without being outright malicious, he genuinely makes the best of whatever hand he's dealt (well, the best for himself, at any rate). The opening of the film sees Louis embarking on a new chapter in his life, and like the supporting characters in the film, we never learn about the previous chapter(s). As far as Bloom is concerned, they don't exist.

As the story progresses and our anti-hero transforms himself from petty thief to media mastermind, he displays enough paradoxical traits (no remorse, though; never remorse) that the viewer isn't sure if Louis himself even knows who he really is, only who he wants to be. But how many of us couldn't help being summed up in exactly the same way?

You can't approve of Louis Bloom's ethics, aims or methodology, but you have to admire his tenacity.

"I believe that communicating your goals clearly is more important than trying to relay them in a non-confrontational manner…""

~ Louis Bloom, using the words that people in my office at work are going to wish I'd never heard.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Well, it's not as fast-paced as that trailer might suggest, but it nails pretty much every other aspect of the film, yes.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Worth paying to see at the flicks.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Maybe just a little; but I will ask you to explain why.

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Seriously, though? Crime scene? Fingerprints? Everywhere?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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