Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is a smooth talking, in your face, smarmy, con man type who is ready and willing to do anything to make a buck. Late one night, he stumbles across the borderline sleazy nocturnal world of crime journalism…..and a monster is born.
This is a world where in TV if it bleeds, it leads and someone has to be getting that oh so important bleed footage. Car crashes, murders, stabbings you name it, these TV stations want it. Enter these freelance camera men who will step in the way of police and paramedics to get a better shot.
Yes, it is all rather despicable.
Bloom hires Rick (Ahmed) initially as an unpaid assistant but the pair slowly build a very lucrative business. When he meets the equally appalling Nina (Russo), a local TV producer who needs to boost her station’s rating or lose her job, his fate is sealed. There is now nothing that Louis will not do to earn him more cash for his footage.
Each night, we follow Louis through LA’s dimly lit streets as he seeks out the next fatality, the next car crash. One particular evening, Louis and Rick get to the scene of a major crime even before the police. For the next (seemingly) endless minutes, we watch in abject horror as Louis makes his way through the crime scene filming people who have been dead for literally just a few minutes.
At this point in time, you cannot help but ask yourself why you are even watching. You realise that perhaps this movie is more about the public baying for blood and then baying for more graphic content even as we tsk tsk and shame TV stations for broadcasting the images.
So who are the real bad guys here? These crime journalists are only selling what we want to watch. The TV producers are only buying what the public wants to see. Yep it makes you think, that’s for sure.
Gyllenhaal once again proves he is one of the most talented young actors of his generation and the accolades should pour in. His wild-eyed performance and his scary weight loss contribute to a truly repulsive character. He lives on a knife edge and takes us with him. It’s a devastating ride but so very worth it. Russo is perfect as the world-weary producer, using Louis as much as he is using her. She is self-aware and doesn’t shy away from who she really is. I liked her…..a lot.
This is not a pleasant movie to watch but is a worthwhile one. A must see.
4 out of 5 stars
Love Flick xx
Director : Dan Gilroy
Starring : Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed
Running Time : 117 minutes
Release Date : 27 November 2014