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Nightcrawler - How to Develop a Character

Updated on April 30, 2020

Director: Dan Gilroy

Category: crime, drama, thriller

Main actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed

Year: 2014

I want to start by saying that when I saw this movie I knew almost nothing about it. Everything I knew I had read in a poorly written synopsis because it had little to do with the film. In any case, it is much better that this happened, because the impact was much greater than if I had known what it was about. For those who have not seen this movie yet, I recommend that you close this article now and watch it. Certainly the film itself deserves more attention than an article about it.

"Nightcrawler" tells the story of Lou Bloom, an unemployed man who develops a passion for the profession of journalist, but in time ends up doing things that are not exactly professional ethics. The whole film focuses on the development of this complex character that we follow in a continuous process of dehumanization. Each event in this film takes place in order to describe in a way as explicitly as possible the Lou's character traits.

As a type of character, Lou Bloom is clearly a negative one, but not an ordinary one. Most negative characters have traits that make you despise them but Lou is one of those characters you can easily empathize with. He is ambitious, talented, polite, a good negotiator and works hard for what he likes. All these features make Lou an easily pleasant character but, unlike other characters like him, all these qualities are used for immoral purposes.

Perhaps Lou's most important trait is his passion for filming sensational news. At first this passion was just a way to make some money, but over time it became much more. For Lou, this job is something he's really good at, and money is just a symbol of the talent and work he puts in. But Nina, Lou's boss, sees in his work only one way to gain more audience. The same happens with Lou's partner who sees only the financial part of this job.

Another important aspect is Lou's sociopathic character. This is best seen from the scene in which he says: "What if my problem wasn't that I don't understand people but that I don't like them?". Sociopathy should also emerge from the way he is filmed. This may be less obvious but it is certainly important. As an example, in the image below we see Lou staring blank and being captive in his own thoughts. He is also the only person in focus, which may suggest his distance from society.

When it comes to acting, I don't have much to add. All I can say is that Jake Gyllenhaal did a great job with this character. He definitely went up on my list of favorite actors.

In conclusion, I can say that "Nightcrawler" is like an ode to this exceptional character.

IMDB: 7,9

My rating: 9


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