Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nightcrawler, the movie. Is it just macabre and pastime, or does something ingenious lie beneath?

Yesterday, I watched "Nightcrawler", the movie.
Immediately after, I had mixed feelings about it. The film, the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy -- an established script-writer -- is rich, bleak, aptly written and directed. The casting choices are not the best: Jake Gyllenhaal is way beyond the appropriate age for the wandering, yet decided protagonist, and Riz Ahmed is too Asian/Arab to go by the name of Rick. However, both are great actors, especially Jake Gyllenhaal who gives one of his best performances. Rene Russo was good in her few scenes as well. I loved the characters, the backdrop and the psychological tension throughout.
I had one problem with the movie, albeit a big one - there was no story to be told, no moral, no real theme. The films tells of a young man who's devoid of morals, but determined as hell. One day he gets to know of nightcrawling (chasing crimes, videotaping them and selling them to news stations). His daring techniques and ruthless character help him get the best "emotionally-fit" shots, as well challenge every opponent, even friends at time, in this harsh career. Through a couple of incidents, he records good material, gets successful, eventually expanding his business into a two-van company, hoping one day he'll own his own news station. And, that's it. The movie ends.

I looked up a few reviews about the movie, but nobody seemed bothered about this particular pitfall.
However, today it suddenly hit me. What if Dan Gilroy actually meant for his story to end off-screen? What if his take home message was exactly that: Ruthless, determined bastards are the only ones who could - through sheer determination and conceit - fulfill their dreams, and eventually they are the people running our news and show business right now. Gilroy just gave us a glimpse at how those heartless entrepreneurs began their lives. The takeaway message might be just that, "Don't ever believe them. They are real scumbags."
Could it be really that, or am I way off the mark?

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