Nightcrawler


This movie is an ultimate example of American crime sensationalism.

Jake Gyllenhaal, as the main actor, has done an outstanding job acting out what can only be termed as a guy who benefits from others’ downfall or crime scenes.

As you see this movie playing out, you can easily understand why America is so localized and so crime-driven. It is as if Americans do not see any global news, what all they are interested in is local news, and especially crime news. So, it is no wonder that TV Studios feel compelled to “buy” stories from unethical and profiteering video film producers such as the actor played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Crime seems to be big news in America all the time. In Singapore, we hardly see crime (though, of late there have been some murder cases). But, America is a huge country with big diversity. Since guns are easily available throughout the U.S., it is also no wonder that gun crimes dominate downtown streets. Americans have a fascination with crime and guns, and movies like Nightcrawler will do well.

The character of Jake Gyllenhaal (Lou Bloom) is opportunistic, scheming, cunning, revengeful, profiteering, overly ambitious, somewhat murderous (he eliminates his main competitor and also his partner), and completely unaffected by collateral damage. This is very typical of the money-driven, crime-driven, fame-driven society that exists in many parts of the U.S.

The good thing that we can observe is the efficiency of 911 and the rapid manner in which the police force reacts to reports made on 911. The movie also teaches how TV Studios can be completely unethical in their race to the top of the TV ratings. They do not care about ethics at all in reporting news, and are always willing to pay for news obtained unethically. While such practices exist all over the world, the U.S. sets the benchmark in TV coverage and reporting. This has been amply captured in Nightcrawler.

On the one hand, the U.S. wants to protect each and every one of its citizens around the world, on the other hand it cannot protect its own people from crimes in its own cities. The good and the bad of the U.S. come through in these kinds of American movies. I was not surprised with the high ratings that this movie got in Rotten Tomatoes and other movie reviews. I am not sure about its reception in the rest of the world. In Asia, people are just curious to watch these kind of movies and then forget about the same as there is no impact.

Overall, I liked the movie for its character display by Jake Gyllenhaal, I believe he has delivered a masterful performance.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

14th February 2015

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