Nightcrawler is a film which explores the consequences of man's actions when he begins work as a freelance videographer for bloody accidents and crime scenes. Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) embodies the characteristics of an outwardly likable man, well-mannered and eloquent, with the traits of a lifelong outsider, amoral, ambitious and uncompassionate.
In a quiet American city, Bloom is introduced as a thief unable to get a full time job. He comes across a car accident and quickly learns there is a market for self-employed videographer who film grisly scenes of death for sensationalist newsrooms. With a cheap camera, police radio scanner and an assistant, Bloom quickly learns the ropes and forms a business relationship with Nina, the morning news director, who buys his films to boost ratings.
Dan Gilroy, director and writer, shows Bloom partaking in increasingly unsettling events. The focus of Bloom's career may be on horrific, stomach churning events but the truly disturbing is Bloom's character. Gilroy shows us the worst is not the crime or graphic horrors, but our response to it or in this case, Bloom's lack of emotional response. In Bloom's world, he is rewarded for it and his work is considered 'beautiful' despite the criminal and immoral lengths he does through to obtain it.
It comes at an apt time where a generation has been bought up on the internet. Through a screen, whether it is a computer monitor, television set or the camera lens, we are one step further from connecting with the people on the other side emotionally. It is simple to forget they are real with feelings and capable of sensing pain. Gilroy asks are we increasingly unable to sympathise and consequently, are we closer to losing our humanity?