Life’s tough. For some people, it can be almost impossible to simply survive. Sometimes it’s more complicated on why you can’t get a job or afford a place to live, or why you’re alone or why you get stuck in a particular predicament.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is desperate for work. When we begin our story with him, we watch as he steals copper wire and fencing to try and flip them – and even kills a police officer when they confront him. And after all of this effort, they still lowball him on the prices for the material he has found. This all takes place in the first 5 minutes of the movie.
But as he heads home, he comes across an accident on the highway where cops are trying to pull a screaming woman from a burning car. He pulls over and starts walking towards it when a large van abruptly pulls over as well, and then two men with large video cameras run up and film the entire scenario. Louis has a quick talk with one of the men (one of whom is played by Bill Paxton) and sees the footage air on the morning news. And from there, the idea blooms.
Louis is a con man, and that means he is a fast learner. In a matter of days he gets a hold of a camcorder and a police scanner. From here we watch as he begins to establish a relationship with a news director for a local news station, and becomes another member of the cutthroat society of nightcrawlers – always racing with each other to be the first to the scene and make money off of reporting the misfortunes.
It’s dark, but things get to a whole new level when Lou is able to beat the police to some of the crime scenes. This is a movie I have had on my list for years but never was interested to see. But I can easily tell you that my first viewing made me feel dirty. It was able to crawl underneath my skin and stick in my brain for days. It’s violent – in the same way that crime usually is, but it’s a believable story about an intelligent man finding something he is good at by making an art of the dark footage.
Nightcrawler is now available to stream on Netflix.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra