Nightcrawler is an ambitious and spoiled neo-noir

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Writer / Director Dan Gilroy’s Neo-noir 2014 captures the audience’s attention from start to finish. Lou is a unique evil, which over time becomes more and more corrupt and evil. As his success rises, so does his morale, which speaks to the length one will go for to be the best in the business.

A master manipulator hiding behind a strong work ethic and faint laughter, Lou brings an assistant named Rick (Riz Ahmed) with the promise of professional growth with his soft night pay. The duo finally finds success after learning the ropes of the business, giving their primary competitor a run for its money. However, Rick begins to see Lou’s true selfish nature and begins to question his integrity.

“Nightcrawler” possesses a fantastic characterization as Gyllenhaal carries Lou’s glorification full force. However, Lou is also an anti-hero success story that speaks to the tireless work ethic seen in our society. In addition, the obsession of our culture with violence is evident with Nina and her ability to act in puppet shows while whispering in the ears of her newscaster as she reveals details of the recent crime to viewers at home. The sense of corruption and manipulation transcends a micro-level and speaks to the macrocosm of human evil by using the media as a catalyst. In addition, Gilroy uses capitalism as a fuel for Lou’s mind (or lack thereof) as he tries to bulldoze his way out of unemployment.

To capture Louis Bloom’s tireless drive, Gilroy brought in James Newton Howard to compose the film’s score. Through the music, Lou’s positive work mentality is combined with his evil motives. In one scene the normal deep music is instead upbeat, reflecting Lou’s contradictory inner reality and the outer perception of other people. Death is opportunistic and seen as a means to success rather than a tragedy. The lively ’80s synth components are also complemented by fantastic stunt work with one of the best car shows of recent years.

The camera work in “Nightcrawler” is endlessly impressive, perfectly aligned with its complex characters. Even though Lou speaks as if he is constantly reading motivational posters in a high school classroom, he is both extraordinarily fascinating and dangerous. As Nina says, “I think Lou inspires us all to reach a little higher.”

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