Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a man whose general sleaziness is only matched by his ruthless ambition. Bloom trawls the nighttime streets of L.A. looking for stuff to steal until he happens across a traffic accident being filmed by a news crew.
As an injured woman is pulled from the car he sees something that he could excel at. Pretty soon he’s muscling his way into the world of ‘if it bleeds it leads’ news stations, jet-propelled by his morally ambiguous view of the world.
Gyllenhaal who manages to make what could be an utterly dislikeable guy, into a creepy but strangely charming individual, brilliantly plays Bloom.
Even as he moves the corpses at crime scenes to make his compositions stronger or withholds information of potential killers from the police to get that perfect piece of film, Bloom has our admiration as well as our condemnation.
After all, he is the best there is at something. Even if that thing happens to make him closer to the rats in the gutter than a leading figure of society.
A film and a character for the age.