• About
  • Careers
  • Newsletter
Arts & Entertainment Capitalism and the media explored in 'Nightcrawler'

Capitalism and the media explored in ‘Nightcrawler’

-

Courtesy Photo

There is a saying in journalism, “if it bleeds, it leads.” The sad truth is that violence sells, and news stations livelihoods depend on the types of ratings they can obtain, which comes mostly through exclusive footage of the fallout of violent acts.

The film “Nightcrawler”, explores the ethical and moral ramifications of a news system dependent on ratings through the eyes of a capitalistic psychopath.

Lou Bloom is a conman who sees an economic opportunity as a stringer, someone who gathers violent and gory news footage at the scenes of horrific crimes and then sells the footage to news stations.

Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is a misanthropic and manipulative enigma of a man. He regularly regurgitates capitalist platitudes about the value of hard work while coercing the cooperation of those he works with and cheating his way to success.

Not since Patrick Bateman has the silver screen seen a character so obsessed with himself that he would cross all ethical and moral boundaries in order to get ahead.

Gyllenhaal delivers a fantastic performance as Bloom. He offers just enough insight into the character’s unreadable motivation to make him fascinating. The way Gyllenhaal is able to imbue this frightening character with enough charm that you can find yourself worried about his safety or wanting him to succeed is an incredible feat. I feel it is a safe assumption that Gyllenhaal has put himself into best actor contention with the performance he portrayed in this film.

Gyllenhaal’s masterful performance aside, “Nightcrawler” also succeeds in many technical aspects.

Visually, the film offers a gorgeous yet realistic view into the glittering yet seedy underbelly of Los Angeles. Neon lights, camera lights and police lights illuminate the LA skyline as Bloom puts himself into desperate and dangerous situations in order to scrape ahead.

The film is writer and director Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut, but the film suffers from none of the pitfalls of directorial inexperience. The pacing and plot are magnificent, the visuals are as enticing as the bright lights of a big city and the film is as tense as the life and death scenarios that Bloom’s camera captures.

One particular instance that shows both Gilroy’s and Gyllenhaal’s skill is the way in which the film ambiguity regards to how the audience is supposed to feel about Bloom. When I watched “Nightcrawler,” the audience would be divided in reactions to Bloom’s actions in many scenes. Some would laugh while I personally cringed at the disgusting actions Bloom would take to get his way. I think this ambiguity is a strength that highlights Bloom’s off-putting charm.

Overall, “Nightcrawler” is a powerful film that raises many profound questions about the state of the American media and about the public who wish to view these violent crimes, and on the overarching problems caused by the American capitalist system that could create and hide monsters such as Bloom.

Latest news

Hattiesburg businesses discuss events, safety protocols

The hustle and bustle of Hattiesburg came to a roaring halt when the COVID-19 pandemic made its...

Possible TikTok ban is nonsense, but survivable

On August 5, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled down on President Trump’s “TikTok ban” by...

NCS4 leads way in sports safety research during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic presents safety complications for sporting leagues and organizations attempting to return to play. Southern...

Move-In Day 2020 Photo Gallery

Students began moving into their dorms at Southern Miss on August 5. Students this year had to...

A new normal: student-athletes share experiences during COVID-19 pandemic

For the last five months, college athletes have battled with the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. From...

Students, faculty on returning to school amidst pandemic

Students were expected to return to face-to-face classes at Southern Miss on August 17. That changed when...

Must read

Hattiesburg businesses discuss events, safety protocols

The hustle and bustle of Hattiesburg came...

Possible TikTok ban is nonsense, but survivable

On August 5, U.S. Secretary of State...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you