If there was any movie that would benefit you from not knowing or knowing little about this movie before seeing it, Nightcrawler would be one of those movies. It's not because there are big twists and hidden secrets to this movie, but of how this movie just takes you on a ride and describing all of the things that happen in this movie would be a great disservice. The trailer, as usual, just goes ahead and shows you the whole damn movie, which means you'll know exactly where the movie is going and how everything gets to where it eventually does. With that said, I'm not going describe major events in this movie and I'm going to be as vague as possible, but you should just watch the movie before reading anything about it.
Anyways, that's your PSA announcement of the day, let's talk about Nightcrawler.
Have you ever been one of those unfortunate people who ever had to go through a job interview? You know the process: an interviewer will ask you seemingly arbitrary things like "What are your strengths and weaknesses", "How would you describe yourself with three words", and other stuff as they claim to find the one person who's "motivated" and "self-starting" and other stuff. Nightcrawler literalizes the kind of person that interviewers would claim to look for, so of course this kind of person would be introduced as killing a security guard after being caught stealing from a construction site only to ask for a job at said construction site.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, someone who could be handily described as a sociopath who seeks to move up on the metaphorical business ladder. The story to Nightcrawler is that Bloom is looking for a job and he finds an interest in being a nightcrawler, someone who captures footage of a crime scene or an accident without the consent of anybody. Bloom sells this footage to a news station and he hopes to expand on his business.
And, yeah, that's the entire story. The main character is just out to make as much money as possible doing this sort of thing. Of course, there is a lot more to this movie. Otherwise, why else would I be saying that this movie is awesome, unless some guy was paying me to say that?
The secret behind Nightcrawler is the protagonist himself, Bloom. He's a sort of fascinating specimen who doesn't blink, states his intentions clearly when he thinks it will benefit him, and will lie at times to get what he wants. He will backstab someone when it means he can further his own goals and he's really good at pressuring people and he knows which buttons to push on certain people in order to make them give in. He also claims to be a business enthusiast and can list off a lot of the tactics to help build on his own career, but tactics like being encouraging and making connections are not coming from someone who's genuine in that kind of friendliness. These tactics are used to further his own agenda.
Bloom's character is foiled by Rick, a character bloom hires because he has GPS on his cellphone to help him get from location to location. Rick is sort of a different character to Bloom as he even makes the mention that Bloom just "doesn't get people". Of course, Bloom understands people all too well, which is how Rick ends up working for him in the first place. Rick is a poor person and stays with Bloom just for the money even though everything Bloom does is questionable right down to the big business that Bloom claims he owns. But it doesn't matter that Bloom has a business, only that he is able to take advantage of Rick in the first place.
There's a reason I brought up interviews in the beginning of this review as this movie shows the stark contrast between a business world and the day to day world through the character of Bloom. We've all seen movies and know that you have to get your hands dirty in order to make it big anywhere. However, Nightcrawler takes it a bit further than that as it shows how inhuman and robotic the business world can be. Interviewers seem to always look for certain kind of people with specific traits, even though, most of the time, the people they hire usually just need money and they're willing to give up time and energy just to make said money(someone like Rick in this movie). Someone like Bloom would be exactly the kind of person an interviewer would be looking for as he states all of the things that make him a good worker, but, by the end of it all, most of the people working with him end up hating him as the traits for a good business person doesn't make for a good human being.
One of the best things about Nightcrawler is how funny it is. This is one of those movies where I think you can tell a group of people they're going to see a serious crime drama and another group of people that they're going to see a pitch black, hilarious comedy and the reactions would be completely different based on that. The humor in this movie is very subtle and, often times, quite tragic, but it all fits well with the context. Bloom wears all of his intentions on his face and, through out the majority of the film, it says "I'm lying to you". Yet, the way he talks and the way he does things make it particularly hard to pin the guy on his obvious evil-doings other than...well, just look at him.
Nightcrawler is thrilling, tragic, dark, and funny all at once, but what's amazing is how engaging and mesmerizing the experience is. This is seriously one of the best movies to come out this year and something I feel is going to be mentioned as a major highlight by the end of it all.