Nightcrawler is a thrilling Netflix crime thriller

A man with a camera hides in the bushes outside a green house in Granada Hills. A horrible triple homicide has just been committed here. He waits for the perpetrators to escape before he chases them. Wandering inside the house with his camera, he stops over a dying man, lying prone in a pool of his own blood as he gasps for air. But this man is not here to help. He is here to make plans and quickly win the massacre.

In NightcrawlerDan Gilroy’s neo-noir thriller now on Netflix, this guy is Louis “Lou” Bloom, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Bloom is an ambitious, fast-paced scammer who rattles fake business incentives and anecdotal statistics, like a robot whose rough knowledge of human speech comes from a Tony Robbins self-help book. After seeing an independent camera crew film the scene of a car crash, Lou was inspired to become the leader himself, driving late into the night in Los Angeles to record violent crimes and accidents and selling the material to local news stations.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis

Image: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

After selling his first recording (of a bloodthirsty man reviving) to Nina Romina (Rene Russo), the morning news director at a local television station, Lou sticks to her every word. He is willing to learn and even more willing to thank. Nina emphasizes that she is interested in crime, although not all crime. “We find that our viewers are more interested in the urban crime that is raging in the suburbs,” he says. “It means a victim or victims, preferably well-off and white, injured at the hands of the poor or a minority.” But most of all, what Nina wants – and what Lou needs to succeed – are graphic violence incidents that will shock her station audience, play with their fears and grab their undivided attention. “The best and clearest way I can express it to Lou, to capture the spirit of what we are broadcasting, is to think of our news bulletin as a screaming woman running down the street with her neck cut off.”

As the plot unfolds, we witness Lou thrive on his new career, compiling a collection of fiery car crashes, horrific murders and other disgusting clips that he proudly characterizes and categorizes on his home laptop. The film makes it very clear that Lou’s success as a so-called “night owl” is only due to his sociopathic personality, but rather because of her. It feeds on death and tragedy like a buzzard, peeling through the dark streets of Los Angeles with its red Dodge Challenger, wandering for its last prey. There is nothing he will not bend over to pursue his own goals, be it to force Nina to sleep with him, to lower Rick (Riz Ahmed)’s frustrated assistant, or to orchestrate a competitor’s near-fatal car accident. and videotape his confused body. on a stretcher. When Rick complains, telling him not to film the body because he is “one of them,” Lou replies, “No more, Rick. We are professionals. He’s a salesman. “For Lou, every smile is a show of teeth, every compliment is a hidden threat.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis

Image: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

It would be wrong to characterize Nightcrawler as a story of a man descending into decay and horror, because in reality, it was never such a big fall for Lou. If anything, Nightcrawler is both a thrilling dark thriller, complete with beautiful Los Angeles cinematography and an electric car chase finale at night, and a scathing indictment of the devastating impact of modern media on storytelling not for information or exploitation, but for exploitation. and dehumanize their subjects. It’s a powerful film that never demoralizes its audience, but rather makes them think about how a system was created that motivates a person like Lou.

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