Review: Nightcrawler, 2014

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First rewatch of Nightcrawler, and while the overall tension of the piece didn’t quite carry over to the second viewing, all of the thematics at play are much more clear and even more absurd than you realize on your first watch. Everything from the bizarrely antithetical music to the insane ramblings of Gyllenhaal’s motivational-poster-spouting Bloom is more distinctly defined when you see it all in the full context of the story. Which also allows it to play as more of a bleak comedy the second time around. Despite Bloom’s dialogue often being reprehensible, the mania by way of calculation that it’s delivered with can be hilarious. Watching his gears turn is both frightening and wildly entertaining.

As a humerous side note – I watched this with my roommate who had never seen it before. I told him to pay attention to the score so we could talk about it later. The first time Bloom tampers with evidence and the music swells in triumph my roommate turns to me and goes “Is this why you wanted to talk about it? Cause this is totally fucked up.” After the movie ended, we talked about why the music might be that way (it’s from Bloom’s perspective, and he’s the hero of his own story; it’s about a capitalist society that rewards exactly the kind of person Bloom is, making it a hero’s journey) and I thought my roommates response was fascinating – “OK, I get that. But why tell the story that way? It’s certainly different, but why?” I honestly couldn’t answer his question. The best I can think of is that ultimately its themes have been tackled many times over, so this is a way to repackage some ideas so they don’t feel like a retread? Or perhaps putting us in Bloom’s shoes allows us to recognize similar behavior patterns of our own? I’m not sure but I actually think this is a really valid question that I might never have considered myself, always being fascinated by interesting or unique spins on the form as I am. Often, I forget to ask what the benefit or value is.

That being said, Nightcrawler is valuable as all fuck. And it’s still on Netflix so definitely check it out.

Nightcrawler scored: ★★★★☆

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