I love crime dramas, and when the drama is about a person who undergoes psychological metamorphosis, I jump up in my seat. Nightcrawler promises to be one such drama and it succeeds well in its promise.
Talking about a cunning thief-turned-freelance journalist Lou (Jake Gyllenhaal), the story takes you inside one of the most daring professions and uptight businesses in the current world. Lou embarks on a journey to earn easy money out of his newfound passion which he also happens to be good at: crime scene shooting. His road to mastery as a freelancer could not have been shown in a better way: he self- studies and grasps things that he believes will be useful in that particular profession. Being manipulative and daring, he is an opportunist who scavenges for news stories as Gilroy's script gathers pace. He stops at nothing, and by the startling climax, it is evident that Lou has been transformed into an unscrupulous psychopath who will do anything to keep the meter running.
The plot addresses the issue of how dangerous journalism can be, and forces us to think about the present codes of journalism followed around the world. In a fast-moving life, journalists do not care for lives, depicting a new world order. As a result, the film turns out to be engaging and sort of a real procedural from a journalistic eye.
Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific and totally into the character throughout the movie. His eyes, physique, make-up - all work of pure genius - transcends his usual performing skills. Riz Ahmed, as the amateur sidekick, is very good. Rene Russo gives an enthralling performance. All are directed well and although, few scenes may seem like dragging, they culminate into excellent story arcs.
A great score drives the whole drama and creates a thriller out of it. Seamless screenplay, some good photography, and a dark setup succeeds in bringing out a perfect package which entertains as well inspires us to think about the corrupted times we live in.
BOTTOM LINE: There is no particular bad thing about Nightcrawler. It is definitely a modern masterpiece and the fact that it is being heavily snubbed in this year's bias kingly awards season backs it. One of the very few best films of 2014.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES