Nightcrawler seems like a faded memory of sorts right now. I watched the film three days ago and when I tried to take a picture of the screen (results above), I experienced the same thrill as what I imagined Gyllenhaal’s character Louis Bloom felt at the scene of an accident or crime.
The over-played cinematic weirdness of Louis Blooms’ personality (oft seen in both brother and sister Gyllenhaal) holds little intrigue. However, the crux of this character was in his sheer drive to succeed and his honesty in doing so – something which I quite admire and inspired sympathy in me. All his actions seem to be motivated by a simple desire for money and status. Later on in the film this was clearly evident in his hard-faced treatment of Riz Ahmed’s character Rick when negotiating his salary amongst other things. One would assume given their close proximity to each other and the potential for bonding in exceptional circumstances that Rick and Louis were bound for friendship. However, the selfish work-based desire for money which motivates Louis blights this potential. This also is evident in the emotionless way Louis propositions Nina Romina (played by Rene Russo).
The fact that he completely shuts out all feelings and emotion comes across as a little disturbing, but would not be taken as so weird or out of place in the right environment. Louis possesses the exact traits which pave the way to success in the business world. Logically it makes complete sense to navigate through life based upon sheer ambition and a rather cold, empirical way of looking at things. It’s a recipe for survival in a capitalist society.
It’s the medium of his success, the way that he makes his money, that is less-interesting. The out-dated way he collects his shots by rushing from scene-to-scene seemed a little over-romanticized. I found myself in a similar situation to Louis the year of the London riots after Notting Hill carnival when I had filmed a stand-off between the police and a mob – I merely uploaded the footage via the internet to Reuters. It would not be conceivable for me to boldly walk into a functioning news-room with footage, as Louis does, without being turned away. That’s Hollywood though – complete with flashy car. Some would say cinematic license, I would say cinematic indulgence.