Nightcrawler: A Satire on the News Industry

The 2014 film Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal is a satire on the public’s obsession with shock journalism and crime. The film centers around a man named Louis Bloom who makes a living by capturing crime scenes on video and then selling these videos to news companies. He drives through the nighttime streets of Los Angeles in search of crime scenes that he can capture by any means necessary while reading ‘how to be successful’ books on the side. His chilling behavior is evident throughout the film.

One example of his strange behavior is when he comes across a nearly dead person, and instead of showing any remorse, he sticks his camera into his face. Another example is when he breaks into a house where a robbery and murder had just taken place and doesn’t appear to feel any sort of sympathy or emotions for the victims. The most noticeable scene in the movie, though, is when someone he knew dies due to his greed and he shows no remorse, instead talking about workplace etiquette and how it was deserved because he wasn’t a ‘trustworthy employee’ of his.

The news industry’s competitiveness is portrayed intensely throughout the movie, and only heightens as Louis gets more successful. With his stress from capturing eye-catching material that he can sell, he goes to further lengths than previously in trying to make money. Jake Gyllenhaal’s entire character is ironic, because everything that he seems to be the exact opposite of what you’d expect someone to say or react to. 

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